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Thousands from Michigan to Maine still without power after weekend ice storm

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

Utility officials said it could be days longer before power is restored to everyone.

People shivered a seventh day as a new storm blew through the upper Midwest and Northeast, shutting down part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike after a pileup involving 35 vehicles. Ten people were taken to a hospital with injuries. Another pileup on Interstate 78 in eastern Pennsylvania involving 25 to 30 vehicles sent 25 people to hospitals.

In Michigan, where about half a million homes and businesses lost power at the storm's peak, utilities reported that 97,000 customers remained without power Thursday evening and said it could be Saturday before all electricity is restored.

In Maine, more snow added to the misery for utility crews working long hours in eastern Maine and parts of the state's interior that have been without electricity since Sunday. An additional 3 to 7 inches of snow was anticipated 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.

"You have to go with the flow and adapt, and do the best you can," Katrina Johnson said Thursday, before her power was finally restored.

Maine reported 20,000 customers still out, down from a high of more than 106,000. Most utility customers were expected to have their lights on by week's end, but there were some pockets where damage was so severe it could take until Wednesday.

A state ferry was commandeered to transport utility crews to restore power to the 600 or so residents on the island of Islesboro, where actor John Travolta has a home.

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

Authorities blame last weekend's storm for 27 deaths — 17 in the United States and 10 in Canada.

Karen Gibbs navigates a labyrinth of icy broken trees and downed power lines Thursday to her home in Belgrade, Maine. Parts of Maine have been without electricity since Sunday.

Associated Press

Karen Gibbs navigates a labyrinth of icy broken trees and downed power lines Thursday to her home in Belgrade, Maine. Parts of Maine have been without electricity since Sunday.

Thousands from Michigan to Maine still without power after weekend ice storm 12/26/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 26, 2013 10:30pm]
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