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Outages affect Sauk Valley

Snow expected again Thursday

(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Harmon Township Road Commissioner Jim Jackson plows roads and waves at a passing ComEd truck whose workers were repairing lines along Schlipp Road in Lee County. About 350 Harmon-area customers were without power throughout much of the day Tuesday, but the juice was back on by 5 p.m., according to the utility's website.
(Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com)
Derick Linboom shovels the sidewalk in front of the Dixon Township building Tuesday morning. Although the area didn't get socked with a lot of snow, icy conditions, bitter cold and wind made driving – and shoveling – difficult Tuesday.
(Philip Marruffo/pmarruffo@saukva)
With chains on his tires and his plow at the ready, Mike Johnson clears the sidewalks along Fifth Avenue in Sterling Tuesday afternoon. Bitter cold temperatures will continue Wednesday with highs in the low 20s but a wind chill factor of minus 15.

STERLING – Power outages affected thousands of customers in the Sauk Valley during the winter storm Monday night, ComEd reported.

In the Harmon area, about 350 customers were without power throughout much of the day Tuesday, but it was restored by 5 p.m., according to the utility's website.

"There were broken poles and downed lines," ComEd spokesman John Schoen said.

Jake Calhoun, who works at Addison Automatics in Harmon, said he and others worked in the cold for 6 hours because of the power outage. He said ComEd had expected the power to return by noon but that didn't happen. At 2:30 p.m., he said, his boss told employees they could go home.

In the morning, an outage still affected 94 customers in the area of Freeport and Science Ridge roads in Sterling, but power was restored by afternoon.

In some areas of Sterling, lights repeatedly flickered Monday night. In other places, such as near Locust Street and LeFevre Road, power went out for minutes at a time.

The outages affected 4,000 residents in both Whiteside and Lee counties, including in Sterling, Dixon and Milledgeville, Schoen said.

"Wind caused trouble with the system," he said.

ComEd crews are working in harsh conditions, with the temperature in the teens and winds at 25 mph.

"We try to keep our people safe while they're doing their work," Schoen said.

Highs are expected in the 20s today and the 30s the rest of the week. The chance of snow is at 80 percent Thursday.

The 3-day outlook

Today: Sunny. High in the low 20s. Northwest wind 5 to 10 mph. Wind chill readings to 15 below in the morning.

Tonight: Partly cloudy in the evening then becoming mostly cloudy. Low around 12. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Wind chill readings to zero.

Thursday: Slight chance of snow in the morning, then snow in the afternoon. Light snow accumulations of about a half-inch possible. High in the upper 20s. East wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent. Wind chill readings to zero in the morning.

Thursday night: Not as cold. Snow. Moderate snow accumulations possible. Near-steady temperatures in the mid-20s. East wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow near 100 percent.

Friday: Snow likely, along with patchy freezing drizzle. High in the mid-30s. Chance of precipitation 60 percent.

Friday night: Mostly cloudy. Low around 19. High in the upper 20s.

Source: National Weather Service


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