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First winter storm of the season brings high winds

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 11:21 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 7:34 p.m. CDT

Power outages were reported Thursday night, many in the Elburn area, as the season's first winter storm brought snow and high winds into the area.

ComEd spokeswoman Arlana Johnson said that 1,100 Kane County customers were without power in the early evening, and the outage map on the ComEd website showed more than 450 of those outages were in Elburn.

Elburn-based storm observer Brad Hruza said stronger winds were expected throughout the night, and residents in the Tri-Cities and Kaneland areas could experience power outages at times.

"It's only going to get worse," he said.

Capt. Mark Davis from the Batavia Emergency Services and Disaster Agency said there were reports of power lines down, mostly in Elburn.

Hruza said about a half-inch of snow had fallen by 7 p.m., but that more – at least three inches – could be expected as the main part of the storm was still a few hours away. And by Friday morning, driving conditions could be difficult.

"With even an inch of snow, with 50 miles per hour winds, you've got a blizzard," Hruza said.

In addition to the driving hazards, Johnson said the high winds could bring more power outages to the area. She said more than 600 ComEd crews were available to address any situations that would come up.

"We're not projected to get a whole lot of snow, but we are looking most closely at the wind," Johnson said, adding that 50 mph wind gusts would provide "a challenge to our power lines, whether it be branches falling into the lines or the winds being able to knock the lines down."

Johnson encouraged customers who experience a loss of power to text the information to 26633. Also, she said ComEd has a mobile app that can be downloaded, and outages could be reported at www.comed.com.

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