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Downed Wire Knocks Out Power to 1,100 Customers

The incident darkened parts of La Grange and Countryside shortly before 6 p.m., in addition to blacking out the traffic light at 55th and Brainard.

A downed wire that may have blown a transformer left nearly 1,100 customers between Edgewood Avenue and Willow Springs Road without power just before 6 p.m. Tuesday on the southwest side of the La Grange Country Club.

Though numerous fire trucks from both La Grange and La Grange Park made for a dramatic scene, La Grange police said it was a run of the mill blown transformer where Edgewood meets 53rd Place. ComEd representative Martha Swaney said it was unclear whether a transformer was also involved, but she did confirm that a wire was down in the area.

The explosion also knocked out power to the traffic light at 55th and Brainard, as well as the Jewel grocery store and Citgo gas station that flank the intersection.

Swaney said power had been restored to all but about 400 customers by 6:50 p.m.

The Theatre of Western Springs also reported an outage around the same time, but Swaney said it is unclear if it is related to the incident. 

The ComEd Outage Map estimates power will be restored by about 7:45 p.m., but Swaney said it's possible it will take a little longer.

Darren McRoy contributed to this report.

Stephanie Holt November 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM
The resulting power surge fried my furnace circuit board, tripped circuit breakers, and destroyed my ups backup unit. Many thanks to the wonderful Western Springs Fire Department, who stopped in at my home and that of many on my block to check on breaker boxes and reassure those who smelled smoke from damaged electronics. Thanks guys! Is this not the same transformer that blew during the "Thunder Snow" nearly two years ago?
Sue S November 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
No mention of the fact that Forest Hills had two power outages last night? First one of short duration, second one more than two hours?
Joseph R. Martan November 28, 2012 at 04:10 PM
The northeast part of Field Park also had a power loss just before 10 p.m. I called ComEd and was told 218 customers were affected and that power would be off until midnight. I'm on Gilbert Avenue - my power came back on in five minures but looking west from Gilbert toward Wolf all I saw for several streets was total darkness. Is ComEd trying to pay back the consumer because the ICC isn't going along with ComEd's Smart Meter flim flam?
Mouse November 28, 2012 at 04:41 PM
How do you get out of bed every day seeing conspiracies around every corner?
Darren McRoy November 28, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Well, in fairness, Mouse, you say there's about fifteen Western Springs government conspiracies going on at any given time...
Darren McRoy November 28, 2012 at 04:48 PM
I didn't know! ComEd is insanely stingy with information. We did ask via our Facebook page. Thank you very much for sharing! They have to all be related, right?
Muddy Waters November 28, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Several homes on 51st St in Springdale with power surge damage to furnaces, fridges, ovens, computers, tv's. Several homes currently without heat. And, yes, this is the same transformer that blew during "Thunder Snow" and regularly leaves this group of homes near 51st St without power, while others nearby (across the street) are fine. For neighbors on either side of our home, this is second power surge with significant damage to appliances, outlets, etc... within last two years. Requests to the Village of Western Springs for assistance re: this transformer have been met with the usual "we'll look into it".
Stephanie Holt November 28, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Lots of damage in Springdale. Exploded light fixtures, even destroyed circuit breaker boards. The furnace repair folks are doing lots of work here today. And Muddy is correct; we seem to have severe outages on a regular basis.
Joseph R. Martan November 28, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Mouse: I'm not a conspiracy-type person...but ComEd is one corporate mega-company that I trust about as far as I can throw the U.S.S Nimitz. Look at how they bought the legislature to give them their Smart Grid - our state senator got over $80,000 from them.
Darren McRoy November 28, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Very odd... Why is a transformer near the La Grange Country Club knocking out power to Springdale and even the Theatre? Or am I perhaps confusing cause and effect?
Joseph R. Martan November 28, 2012 at 10:15 PM
Not at all implausible. I live in the northeast corner of field Park on Gilbert Avenue - and the area west to about Clausen is tied into a transformer that is located in LaGrange Park north of 31st Street - always goes out several times each summer.
Muddy Waters November 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Losing power is one thing. A power <surge> that destroys tens of thousands of dollars of furnaces, fridges, computers, etc... is another thing altogether. Sparks and flames coming from outlets. This is not the first time this has happened. At least twice within a two year period. Are Comed or Village of Western Springs safety officials taking any action?
Rose Petrini November 29, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Yes... I would like to know....Who would be responsible for 2 tvs, a computer and xbox that no longer work after the power outage? Has anyone had this happen before?Who would cover the replacement of these items? Is it the village or electric company?
Sandy Petrukovich November 30, 2012 at 02:22 PM
I live on Edgewood and 55th street and Tuesday night we saw the transformer blow on the south edge of the country club. This was not a downed wire, it was like nothing I have ever seen, and I have lived in this house for 50 years. We lost kitchen appliances and TV's and game stations, house phones, humidifier, florescent lights. ComEd cannot tell me this was a downed wire, current back-surged because they were doing something - the weather was not a factor. I am surprised though, with how quickly they did restore service, our house was the following day. Ever since the hospital did their addition, the power grid has not been the same. And while talking about the hospital, why were they not responsible with LaGrange during this construction to FINALLY FIX EDGEWOOD STREET BETWEEN 55TH STREET AND 47TH ! Back to Comed, their claim form really makes it difficult to claim damages with this whole house situation - they sould have a rep visit every house and see the damages they caused. Collectively, lets sue ComEd - enough lawyers live in this area that were affected we can band together. I am filling out the calim form but I do not except to recover $ from them - I am sure they will drag this out.
Jim Cusack November 30, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Hello Bill and Pat, Thank you for the update received at our front door today dealing with the recent power outage. The External Affairs Manager, Terrie E. Simmons identified interrupted service in the LaGrange and Countryside area and failed to highlight the outages in our Village. That came as a surprise to me given the fact that residents in our area (51st Street between Harvey and Caroline) suffered thousands of dollars in damages. Additionally, I have not been able to reach anyone within ComEd to logically explain 1) what caused the outage, 2) how it was fixed and 3) what is being done to ensure such an outage does not occur in the future. Can you, as our representatives, please try to get answers to those questions for all of us impacted? That would really be appreciated. I can certainly appreciate all you have had to manage this week with the water issue but, in many ways, this event could very easily have resulted in home fires and even loss of life. Yes , I was greatly impacted by the outage and feel, for the protection of others, this needs to be addressed directly with ComEd by our Village Management. Thank you both for all you do for The Village of Western Springs. Regards, Jim C
Muddy Waters December 01, 2012 at 06:41 AM
Letter from Village of Western Springs at http://www.wsprings.com/userfiles/file/112712%20Power%20Outage%20letter.pdf If I interpret this correctly, the Village of Western Springs is taking no action on this obvious, serious ongoing Public Safety problem and washing their hands of the matter. "If you have any additional questions, ... the Village advises you to call ComEd". Why would we bother having a Village government and Village Manager, if not for addressing serious Public Safety problems such as this?
Eddie K December 01, 2012 at 12:58 PM
I could not have said it any better. It seems as though some elected officails, employees, and agents of our village have the same attitude as ComEd. That being "why come face to face with a problem when you can ignore it and hope it goes away". On the other side of the coin, the conduct of our Police and Fire Departments during this mess was outstanding. Thank you.
Muddy Waters December 07, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Update: ComEd Meeting with Residents http://www.wsprings.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=306& Commonwealth Edison will be meeting with residents regarding the power surge of November 27, 2012. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 in the lower level of Village Hall at 7:00 p.m......

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