Power could be out for days in US northeast

Updated: 2011-11-03 08:12

By Dave Collins (China Daily)

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HARTFORD, Connecticut - Crews trying to restore power to hundreds of thousands of northeasterners two days after a freak snowstorm swept up the coast face a tough job, even with fair weather to work in.

The wet, heavy snow that snapped branches and toppled trees across the region on Saturday and Sunday brought down an extensive network of wiring, including sturdy, long-distance transmission lines and wires supplying individual homes.

More than 3 million customers lost power at some point from Maryland to Maine, and authorities have said it could be next week before power is restored to the rest of the more than 1.7 million residents who are still in the dark.

Many schools remained closed on Tuesday throughout the region, and residents stood in long lines to buy fuel for their cars and generators.

"We've had to go to as many as 15 states to request crews," said Katie Blint, a spokeswoman for Connecticut Light & Power Co, the state's largest utility. "We certainly understand the hardship this is causing, and we are doing our best out there."

Even with unusually mild weather for the days after a wintry storm, shelters were filled with elderly and disabled people who had no heat and were seeking meals and cots.

The storm dropped snowfall totals ranging from less than 3 cm in some places to 81 cm in the small town of Peru, Massachusetts, in the Berkshire Mountains.

Associated Press