Power outage darkens downtown Elgin
By Janelle Walker For The Courier-News May 17, 2012 9:48PM
Updated: July 1, 2012 11:55AM
ELGIN — Power was out to downtown Elgin for part of Thursday evening after either a transformer or power cable failed.
The outage, which lasted about 40-45 minutes for many but up to two hours for some others, began around 7:30 p.m. According to police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault, an underground transformer blew on Spring Street between Division Street and Dexter Court downtown. That caused an outage that spread throughout a number of blocks in downtown. ComEd crews arrived quickly and rerouted power around the failed transformer, Theriault said.
At least five downtown traffic signals were out during the event, but there was no threat to public safety, he said. However, the Elgin Fire Department did respond to assist some people trapped in a downtown elevator.
A ComEd spokesperson said 1,034 customers were affected, that power to 80 percent of them was restored by 8:15 p.m. and that remaining were expected to get power back by 9:30 p.m. The spokesperson said a cable failed, causing the outage.
Theriault said police were advised that ComEd was not going to repair the problem immediately but rather reroute power and fix the issue later.
At the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce offices at 31 S. Grove Ave., Jeanette Mihalec said they were using a light from a cellphone to set up for a membership orientation scheduled for Friday morning. Mihalec said people had to be rescued from an elevator in the condos across the street.
Not far away, at the Villa Verone restaurant, 13 Douglas Ave., its weekly “Non Profit of the Week” event had to be held by candlelight.