142K still without power in Chicago area after heavy snowfall

CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - More than 142,000 people were still left without power throughout the Chicago area after a winter storm pummeled northern Illinois with snow from Sunday to Monday.

As of 3 p.m. Monday, 77,815 ComEd customers in Cook County were affected by power outages, with 16,824 of those in Chicago, according to the company’s outage map. That’s an decrease from those reported as of 8:45 a.m., when 91,816 Cook County ComEd customers were affected by power outages.

Outages in neighboring counties have since decreased. DuPage County saw 24,332 customers reporting outages, the second-highest total outside Cook County, according to ComEd; 20,297 were reported Lake County, 7,877 in Kane County, 457 in McHenry County, 2,126 in Kendall County and 4,722 in Will County.

The total number of outages in ComEd’s service area was down to 142,707 as of 3 p.m. from more than 176,000 earlier in the morning.

On Sunday morning, the electricity and heat service said they were increasing staffing to accommodate the blizzard’s swift winds and whiteout conditions.

Customers should stay away from downed power lines and flooded basements, as they pose dangers of electrocution, ComEd said. Trees, tree limbs and storm-damaged buildings should also be avoided.

The National Weather Service announced a blizzard warning Sunday afternoon to early Monday across most of northern Illinois, with the storm causing “life threatening travel conditions” Sunday night.

Thunderstorms also began to spark across the area about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, creating additional risk for being outside.

Holiday travelers were already facing heavy delays and cancellations at both of the city’s airports throughout the weekend.

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