Snow slows power work in Maine; Mich. struggles

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GARDINER, Maine -- Snow fell Thursday in places still hustling to get power back on after an ice storm last weekend turned out the lights from Michigan to Maine and into Canada.

Eastern Maine and parts of the state's interior that have been without electricity since Sunday anticipated 3 to 7 inches of snow by the time the latest system pushed off the coast Thursday night. Utilities worried that the additional weight on branches and transmission lines could cause setbacks in the around-the-clock efforts to restore power.

Maine reported more than 21,000 customers still out, down from a high of more than 106,000.

Bangor Hydro Electric advised residents that it will be the end of the day today before its more than 11,000 customers are back online. Central Maine Power, with more than 16,000 customers still without power early Thursday, hoped to get electricity back for most by day's end but acknowledged that some will still be dark today. More than 100,000 were without power at the storm's peak.

In Michigan, where about half a million homes and businesses lost power at the weekend storm's peak, an inch or so of snow was expected. Utilities there reported 101,000 customers without power Thursday and said it could be Saturday before all are restored.

There were more than 101,000 without power in three Canadian provinces -- Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick -- including 54,000 in Toronto.

In New York's Tug Hill Plateau, east of Lake Ontario, 11 to 17 inches of wind-whipped lake effect snow was expected by the end of the day today. The ice storm knocked out power to about 50,000 northern New York customers, all but about 150 of whom had it back by Thursday.


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