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Chicago-Area Power Outages Caused by Freezing Rain, Gusty Winds, ComEd Says

What to Know

  • A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect through midnight for Lake and McHenry counties

  • A Wind Advisory will cover nearly all of the metro area beginning at 2 p.m. and continuing until 3 a.m.

After freezing rain, snow and winds gusting up to 45 mph, ComEd was still working to restore power to 13,600 customers.

Tree branches frozen by the rain early Tuesday grew heavy and fell into powerlines across the area, ComEd said, which caused many power outages. About 60,000 customers had their power restored as of Tuesday night, ComEd said.

“With more harsh weather coming to our communities overnight, our crews will continue their work to safely restore service to customers affected by these storms,” Terence R. Donnelly, president and chief operating officer of ComEd, said in a press release. “We encourage every customer who experiences a power outage or spots a downed power line to report it immediately to ComEd.”

About 600 people in Tinley Park were without power Tuesday night. 

“Weather related problems with the power lines, not sure if its ice built up or the wind, but it shorted out the power lines which caught the pole on fire,” Sgt. Bob Diorio of the Tinley Park Police Department said.

Com Ed crews were responding non-stop to neighborhoods throughout Chicago and the suburbs where trees and power lines are already frozen, ice covered and now buffeted by powerful wind gusts.

An Ice Storm Warning may have come to an end Tuesday morning in the Chicago area, but dangerous winter weather is far from over. 

A Winter Weather Advisory remains in effect through 3 a.m. for Lake and McHenry counties. Meanwhile, a Wind Advisory will cover nearly all of the metro area beginning at 2 p.m. and continuing until 3 a.m. 

The Winter Weather Advisory warns of wind-whipped snow showers likely during the afternoon and evening hours. 

At the same time, the Wind Advisory indicates strong winds will develop, bringing gusts between 45 and 50 mph possible. With significant ice accumulations already on trees and power lines, the strong winds could lead to downed power lines and tree limbs and the potential for additional power outages. 

Motorists should expect difficult conditions and possibly slippery roads, according to the National Weather Service, and are advised to use caution on the roadways.   

Icy weather brought ice accumulations of up half an inch to parts of the area by Tuesday morning. Thousands were without power Tuesday morning as ComEd crews worked to restore service ahead of an evening that could bring even more issues.

“We’ll have crews ready to transfer to those areas,” said Tom Dominguez with ComEd.

Any mix of snow, freezing rain or rain was expected to taper off and end during the morning hours, making way for overcast skies and widespread fog. 

Periods of snow showers will be possible through the evening hours, ending by midnight. Between one and two inches of snow will have been possible in some locations by the time the system ends, ushering in extremely windy and much colder conditions. 

Wednesday looks to bring some relief as clouds break for partial sun, though conditions will stay windy and cold. Highs will sit in the mid- to upper-20s in most areas, reaching into the low-30s in northwest Indiana. 

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