Storm impact widespread throughout Joliet, elsewhere

The storm that blew through northern Illinois on Monday had some impact on almost everybody. in Joliet.

Public works crews in Joliet and elsewhere expect to pick up tree limbs for the next couple of weeks, and traffic signals at major intersections in Joliet, Plainfield and elsewhere were just starting to work again Wednesday.

"This is a very widespread storm in terms of how much damage it did," Joliet Public Works Director James Trizna said. "It's from Arbeiter Road to Gougar Road."

Out of 56,000 ComEd customers in Joliet, 46,000 experienced some kind of outage whether short or prolonged, Trizna said, citing information he had received in the morning from ComEd.

On Wednesday morning, more than 18,000 Joliet customers were still without power, Trizna said.

The good news may be that nearly all the damage came in the form of fallen trees rather than actual buildings being knocked down by the winds of more than 80 mph. Some of those trees fell on houses and garages, Trizna noted.

In Crest Hill, the winds tore off a section of roof of an apartment building on Arbor Lane, displacing 10 families, Mayor Ray Soliman said.

"I haven't seen this much damage since the tornado of 1990," Soliman said.

Unlike the tornado, he noted, there was no loss of life in Crest Hill.

Both Soliman and Trizna said public works crews would be going through the neighborhoods for the next two weeks to collect all the branches torn off trees by the storm.

Some collapsed trees were tangled in electrical wires, prolonging ComEd restoration efforts, Soliman noted.

In Crest Hill, 3,100 lost power in the storm, Soliman said. ComEd reported 65% of those customers restored as of Wednesday morning.

Traffic lights on major intersections on Theodore Street were still not operating as of Wednesday afternoon.

In Plainfield, police on Wednesday morning reported traffic lights throughout town were functioning again.

Long sections of Route 30 and Route 59 in Plainfield turned into virtual parking lots Tuesday morning as traffic crept to four-way stops created at major intersections because traffic signals were not functioning.

ComEd on Wednesday issued a statement saying it had restored power to more than 625,000 residences and businesses in northern Illinois while 171,000 customers remained without power.

More than 1,900 ComEd employees and contractors had been working round the clock since Monday afternoon, the utility said. Another 1,400 workers from around the country had been brought in to assist.

"In spite of the extensive damage caused by the tornadoes and derecho, ComEd restored power to 540,000 customers within a day, the fastest restoration of 500,000 customers in the company’s history," the statement said.