24 hours later, thousands of stateliners still without power

Published: Feb. 23, 2023 at 6:03 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - One day after ice storms hit the stateline, sending thousands of people into the dark, ComEd crews work frantically to turn the power back on.

Weirdly, the damage wasn’t confined to a specific area, but rather all of Northern Illinois.

In Cherry Valley, a downed power line wiped out a whole neighborhood, with many not seeing power when they woke up Thursday morning.

“I’m tryna find a generator right now just to have power for the fridge. We’re on a well so we can’t even use water right now,” said Cherry Valley resident Sam Van Dyke.

In a Northwest Rockford neighborhood, a whole block lost power. Residents in that block have been told they may not get power back until Saturday.

“The power just went out,. Luckily, I had a few candles already lit at my desk. But it was yea, I did a zoom by candlelight I had a hotspot on my phone,” said Joy Thomas, who lives on that street.

“I have a fire in the fireplace and I’m mostly lying down in front of the fire. Slept in a sleeping bag, everything’s ok,” said Charles Johanssen, another who lives on that street.

Thomas and her husband Vinny say they’re not worried for themselves, but for her elderly neighbors.

“Vinny went and helped the ladies manually open their garages so they could at least get their cars and go run to the store if they need to,” she told 23 News.

ComEd representatives say their crews will focus on the critical areas first, like hospitals and nursing homes, but moving into specific neighborhoods. CEO Gil Quiniones says it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation.

‘We are doing everything can and we are working 24/7 because we understand the criticality of having electricity,” he said.

Quiniones says the company has 740 crews in the area, totaling more than 1700 workers. ComEd is also in the process of bringing in another 900 workers to help with restoration.