Here we go, here we go, here we go again. Oh, here we go again!

Here we go, here we go, here we go again. Oh, here we go again!

To quote the band Ok Go.

And what “went” again, or should I say, didn’t “went,” was our west side Geneva electricity – at 4:30 in the morning. Once again, it was two rapid fire 30 second outages followed by the power coming back on for good.

They’re the kind of chaotic interruptions that make mincemeat of today’s electronics, too. Again, it’s a First World problem that’s nothing compared to the havoc wreaked by our previous backyard lightning strike, but in addition to the smart bulb, now we have to replace another Alexa device, too.

And yes! It was on a surge protector strip, but those things can only go so far under the strain of regularly repeated power outages. This phenomenon has become so chronic on the west side – at least seven days in June so far – that the local newspapers finally picked up on it. 

To wit, ComEd claims this most recent outage surge is the proximate result of “trees and wildlife,” which is complete and unadulterated bullshit. No matter where I’ve lived, we’ve always had “trees and wildlife.” C’mon! Seven failures in less than 30 days is a record even for Geneva’s eminently fragile electric utility.

“Trees?” When we lived in Streamwood with their above-ground lines, ComEd was so proactive about massacring our stately oaks they made emerald ash borers look like rank amateurs. Sure, it’s been a bit windy this spring, but again, aside from that February 28 west side microburst, the Chicago area hasn’t experienced the kind of severe thunderstorms where you’d expect the power to fail.

Ironically, Geneva restored power in just 20 minutes on the 28th, a truly monumental feat. But the majority of the outages, like this morning’s, took place when it was neither windy nor raining nor 90 degrees.

And “wildlife?” Of course it happens, but ComEd could only come up with one instance of a critter being in the wrong place at the wrong time which hardly begins to explain seven separate outages. They’re so much fun at 4:30 a.m., too!

The festivities commenced with two terrified dogs bursting into my bedroom as if to say, “What the fuck dad! You better put an end to this BS, or else!” Then, having heard that commotion and all the electronics roar back to life, particularly those 80-gallon aquarium pumps, my son’s cat, Teddy, launched into a feline aria in an effort to be freed from his nightly confines.

That, of course, woke my older son up, who inadvertently let Tula out of his room. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like a 10-pound cat walking all over your stomach, chest, and face, wildly purring the entire time at 4:40 a.m. She loves her daddy!

I somehow managed to go back to sleep for another 45 minutes, but then I had to embark upon the house tour, which generally consists of:

  • Resetting the stove, microwave, and all the other digital clocks
  • Resetting the coffee maker
  • Making sure the aquariums are actually pumping water and not just making noise
  • Bringing my two home-office computers back to life
  • Powering down and restoring the WiFi if it’s still not working (50 percent of the time)

Again, I know we’re talking First World problems, but I’m convinced we’ll discover another fried electric device before the end of the day.

That means, I am, once again, calling on Geneva Mayor Burns, our illustrious city council, and especially City Manager Stephanie Dawkins, to make this issue a PRIORITY and FIX IT once and for all. And that starts with the blatantly obvious proposition that ComEd is giving you a line, and sadly, it ain’t the power variety. I’d rather be forced to have to watch the Mayor show up drunk and hungover at another county board meeting than have to listen to their lame excuses.

If it really was “wildlife and trees,” then why haven’t I experienced anything beginning to approximate this scenario in any of the plethora of Chicago area places I’ve called home? This outage issue certainly wasn’t an issue when we moved here in 1997, either. 

If it’s not fixed in the reasonably foreseeable future, unlike it with our power situation, you can count on me writing about it every single time the power goes out. 


Search Tags: Geneva power outages; Don’t move to Geneva, Geneva priorities; Geneva city council, mayor, and city manager.

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