Thousands still without power amid sweltering heat following Monday’s severe storms


CHICAGO (CBS) — Thousands of people in the Chicago area remained without power Tuesday night, in the wake of Monday’s severe thunderstorms, and that means no way to keep cool amid the dangerous heat in the same area which took a direct hit from damaging winds and at least one tornado.

Heavy storms rolled through the city, western, and northwestern suburbs Monday night. The focus on Tuesday was cleaning up the mess left behind.

There was still plenty of work to be done more than 24 hours after the storms rolled out, and the extreme heat that moved in Tuesday added to the stress of the storm.  

The public works crew in west suburban Bellwood has been hard at work since the storm rolled through Monday night.

Darryl Pruitt said he’s tired after all the work he’s done since the storm, “but, hey, that’s what we do.”

The heat isn’t making the already challenging job any easier.

“We gotta do what we gotta do,” Jarius Gearlds said. “Even in the heat.”

Catrina Bodie said “it’s been hell” going without power amid the sweltering heat.

“I never been in hell, but I feel like it right now,” Bodie said.

On top of cleaning up from the storm, Bodie was without power for much of the day at her home in Bellwood.

“I’ve never experienced weather this bad, and then so much commotion happening all at the same time back to back,” she said.

Next door, sparks flew from the downed power lines at Catherine Lake’s home. She too was left in the dark.

“I heard something popping, and I went to the window, and I saw little sparkles,” she said. “I was in the dark all night, burning candles.”

A tree crushed Markeis Armstrong’s car. He wasn’t hurt, but was forced outside in the heat to get his car repaired.

“There was glass everywhere,” he said. “With the heat, it’s been terrible trying to get my car fixed. Just getting in my car, the heat has been terrible, because I don’t have a windshield.”

Power crews were busy in Bellwood, restoring Bodie’s power by Tuesday night.

“I’m glad the power is back on now,” she said. “A long 24 hours, yes.”

As of 9:36 p.m., 10,860 ComEd customers remained without power. ComEd said it has more than 900 crews working to make repairs, and expects power to be fully restored by Wednesday afternoon.

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