Looking Back on the Storm of 2003

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Exactly one week ago Saturday, almost 80,000 of us were without power. It seemed like the blocked roads and split trees would become a permanent scenic view, but this Saturday, with the help of many community members and out of town help, Rockford is cleaning up.

Sixty volunteers came to City Hall to lend a hand. Armed with chain saws or just strong hands those that can't get outside got help.

Organizer Tracy Gesty says, “We had a lot of people not able to cut up branches in their yard. Today people showed up with chainsaws and we got a lot done."

The city received 82 calls from citizens needing assistance.

Another sign of normalcy, the 219 power crews left Rockford. For the past week, crews from Springfield and Texas called the seven sub-stations set up by ComEd home. Don Westfall, a ComEd spokesperson says, “Our contingency plan didn't prepare us for this. We wrote a new textbook over the past week. The substations were a key to us being able to restore power so quickly."

But not all lines are connected just yet. Theresa Wenger still doesn't have a phone line. She has her own memories of what's being called the storm of 2003. Theresa remembers being scared and then walking out and seeing the damage all over Rockford.

As part of the hit or miss of this storm, Theresa's brother had little damage. He says it will probably take a month before all signs of damage are gone.

If you have any questions about your yard or to request a claim form from ComEd call
1-800-334-7661. Com Ed says claim forms will not automatically be sent out. You have to call to have one sent to you.