Winter storm Elliott power outage preparation

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 1:47 AM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The large snowstorms like we’re expecting can go from whiteouts to blackouts in a matter of minutes. Which puts an extra burden on utility crews and on the customers they serve.

Power outages are most common during large storms, especially snow storms, which is why experts with ComEd and Rock Energy Cooperation stress to area residents to be pro-active about preparing for the blizzard.

“Make sure you have different supplies. Make sure that your animals are also taken care of. Make sure that you do have a back up plan on what you’re going to do, where you’re going to go in case you do have a power outage,” said George Gaulrapp with ComEd.

He says you should always prepare for the worst even if the worse never happens.

“That’s one of the biggest things when the tree branch falls on-top of wire. Not much can be done about that,” said Gaulrapp.

“Try not to panic. I know the first gut instinct is to, ‘oh my gosh what’s going on’. We’re used to handling situations like outages, and so usually the outages don’t last an extended period of time,” said Jonas Berberick with Rock Energy Cooperation.

Berberick says Rock Energy’s biggest concern is the strong winds that could potentially blow down powerlines and tear off branches from trees.

One of it’s advanced technology tools is a sensor that will automatically open and cease power if it detects a tree branch hit a power line.

Both Gaulrapp and Berberick say they have more than one hundred crews on standby to fix any issue as quickly as possible.

“Generators are not to be ran in a house or a closed space. The fumes can cause issues or health problems with that, so we do not recommend that,” said Berberick, “Professionally installed, sure, but I would not recommend taking a portable generator and bringing it into the house.”