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May be Friday before power restored in some areas

LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) -- Some people in the United States and Canada who have been without electricity since Saturday may not get their lights back on for another day.

That could change as more snow creeps into Maine and parts of Michigan and cold temperatures keep ice from melting off power lines and tree branches, posing new risks for outages.

Bangor Hydro Electric in Maine is advising people it will be the end of the day Friday before it's more than 11,000 customers all are back on line. The number has fluctuated as some people get power back while others lose it. The utility said downed trees are the biggest problem facing line crews.

"We've had two beautiful, sunny days in Maine and the ice isn't going anyplace," said Lynette Miller, spokeswoman for the Maine Emergency Management Agency. "They're very concerned about more weight coming down on trees that are already compromised by ice."

Central Maine Power, with more than 30,000 people still without power as of late Wednesday, hoped to get power back for most by the end of the day Thursday but acknowledged some will still be without electricity on Friday. More than 100,000 were without power at the storm's peak.

From 2 to 6 inches of snow could fall in parts of Maine on Thursday.

Ashley Walter, 27, was still hunkered down with her husband, Jacob, and their month-old daughter, Leah, at a shelter set up in a school in Litchfield, Maine. The family lost power on Saturday, got it back temporarily then lost it again Sunday and have been without since.

Despite the challenge of being forced out of the house, especially at Christmas, the family was staying positive.

"It's definitely kind of strange but we're hanging in there," Ashley Walter said Wednesday. "We did our Christmas together last night. I packed little stockings and gave them to my husband, sisters and my daughter."

Trudy Lamoreau was supervising the emergency shelter where about 25 people stayed Tuesday night. Lamoreau, who's also the town manager, said they warmed the shelter with generators until the school got power back late Tuesday night.

"People are doing quite well considering the circumstances," she said.

In Michigan, about 139,000 people were still without power Wednesday afternoon, down from more than 500,000 at the storm's peak.

With no power at their home, Jill Ghantous and her family from Swartz Creek, Mich., opened their presents Wednesday morning at a hotel in Genesee County's Grand Blanc Township, southeast of Flint.

The family members took the Christmas stockings from their home and hung them from a dresser in the hotel room.

They also bought a small tree for the room, said Ghantous, whose children are 10 and 6.

"I guess we can kind of pull Christmas out of nothing," Ghantous told MLive.com. "You just get resourceful and try to make it the best you can."

So far, authorities blame the storm for 27 deaths; 17 in the U.S. and 10 in Canada, including five who apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In Canada, about 160,000 customers were without power Wednesday. There were 72,000 customers without power in Toronto, down from 300,000 at the height of the outages, and Mayor Rob Ford said some may not have power restored until the weekend.


Associated Press writers David Goodman in Detroit and Rik Stevens in Concord, N.H., contributed to this report.


Residents Seeing The Worst Ice In Ten Years At Christmas

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Ms. Sczepanik December 27 2013 at 12:11 AM

How horrible for these folks up north. Its bad enough experiencing power outages but worse in that part of the country. Especially for older or sick or poor homless people.

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nrgaines88 December 26 2013 at 11:17 PM

What are the steps being taken to prevent a reoccurence next year. What are the steps being taken in Haiti and the Phillipeans to prevent the death toll of the last few years? What steps are being taken to keep most of the world from resorting to begging when catastrophe strikes? Ralph Gaines.

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Howdy, Susie December 26 2013 at 11:37 PM

What are you doing, Ralph?

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Reginewend December 26 2013 at 11:02 PM

Wouldn't it be more cost effective in the long run to place the electrical wiring underground. The initial cost would be high but think of the future benefits and the aesthetics not having to look at all those utility poles. Just a thought.

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rjj911321 December 26 2013 at 10:35 PM

Do you ever hear of power outages in Europe? I don't. I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I simply never hear of it. Here in th good ol' USA tens of thousands of households seem to lose power for days or weeks every time th wind blows. Much like our dwindling incomes we just have to make it with less.

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jventurato December 26 2013 at 11:05 PM

We lived in Sweden for a number of years and lost power occasionally for short periods of time. The power lines that used to be above ground are now underground. Here in the US the power companies are not willing or required to find a safer way of protecting the power lines except for trimming trees. After living through two storms where we lost power for nearly a week each time, my husband and I decided to incur the expense of putting in a generator. We are much more comfortable now but it was an expensive insurance policy and not everyone can do it and it's not feasible if you live in an apartment. We live in Connecticut.

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ferrellfarmer December 26 2013 at 10:33 PM

LIES LIES LIS AND MOER LIES LIES LIES Jst ask Kng Al Gore there is no more ICE and SNOW there is only GLOBAL WARMING. So I don`t have any clue as to where they are getting all this wrong information and pictures at but it s all LIES. And like I said if you do not beleive me just a King Al Gore who has been profiting form this stupidity sense 1984

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Howdy, Susie December 26 2013 at 11:39 PM

Sense 1984 - get an education, then comment...!

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Cate December 26 2013 at 10:19 PM

West Coast Baby :)

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steise63 December 26 2013 at 10:16 PM

I think it's the height of stupidity if you live in this kind of area, where you get such extreme weather, not to have installed a wood heated stove/heater. Even a small one generates enough heat to get a family through the winter - if it didn't, America would not have existed because all the colonists would have frozen to death because, gasp, they did EVERYTHING with NO ELECTRICITY. The pioneers settled the entire country WITHOUT ELECTRICITY! We've become so dependent that all anyone has to do is cut off our electricity and we can't get the water out of our own wells and we have no alternative source of heat. THAT IS STUPID. I store water and food and other necessities because I live where there are earthquakes. If you live where there are ice storms, install a small wood stove and put a generator on your well if you have a well. And STORE WATER! You should have enough for each member of the family for a week or more. And with your handy dandy woodstove/heater, you can heat up snow and ice for water...ya know..kinda like people have been doing since the beginning of time. Also, sleeping bags rated well below zero that you can drag into one room where the whole family sleeps near the woodstove. You don't have to heat the whole house - just one closed off room. That's why it worked in the past to have a one or two room cabin. This storm ought to be a reminder to all of us to be a little more self sufficient. And perhaps this summer, neighborhoods can work together to trim tree branches away from electrical wires? Just a crazy idea ... In California the power goes out with just a little rain or wind. It's ridiculous. High time for underground power or tree trimming or both. In the meantime, have a backup measure!

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jorczak9 December 26 2013 at 9:42 PM

Sounds like global cooling. Eh?

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HOUSTONIAN December 26 2013 at 9:20 PM

When will the power company's every start placing power lines under ground. Just saying.

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o.fun December 26 2013 at 8:49 PM

How many times have people seen these stories on the news ?
How many times to people need to be told to be prepared for an emergency ?
How many people would sooner pay $80 a month for 300 channels of crap on TV or $300 to buy an X-Box for their kid, or spend $100 per date going out - rather than use that money WISELY and BUY A GENERATOR !
I have no sympathy.
It's been 30 years of news stories of power outages - and OHHHHHHHH HOW HORRIBLE it must be to be without power.
IF you haven't learned by now - yeah - I guess it's STILL SHOCKINGGGGGGGGGG !
Who EVEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRR heard of thaaaaaaaat !?

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2 replies to o.fun's comment
babbtx December 26 2013 at 9:12 PM

Generators have a big problem - they need fuel to run - and you need a big fuel tank to keep the thing going 24/7 -- let's do a few numbers: $3.5 per gallon of fuel, 2 gallons per hour, limited to 10 hours per day and you have a net expense o f $70 per DAY, almost $500 per week . There is NO ideal answer. My grandfather, circa 1929, built a house and used wind power. The windmill produced power that was used to re-charge the automobile batteries that ran the house. Heating was by propane, and the furnace was turned on & off manually. Current building practices and codes make this self-contained system difficult, if not impossible, to build.

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littlelayla4u December 26 2013 at 9:21 PM

Are you some kind of psycho? Generators can be dangerous. Are you a kid on your Mommy's computer or, did your wife make fun of you and you're venting online. Either way, grow up before posting. Oops...think I hear your Mommy and Daddy calling you. QUICK!!! Shut their computer off!! LOL @ you!

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1 reply to littlelayla4u's comment
hellyon3too December 26 2013 at 9:38 PM

And are you some kind of troll? What's wrong with running a generator? What's more important, having the latest gadget or having heat, water (if you have a well & pump) and keeping your food safe?

I've lived in the country my whole life. We've always had a back up generator. They're no more dangerous than leaving a car running in the drive way. Everyone in the neighborhood has a generator. Some have big ones that run on propane or natural gas and will power the whole house, some have small ones that just keep the heat on and the fridge running.

Your comment wasn't just rude, it was ignorant.

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