August 28, 2011 / 2:25 AM / 6 years ago

FACTBOX-Irene power outages leave nearly 5 million in the dark

 Aug 28 (Reuters) - Nearly 5 million homes and businesses along the U.S. East Coast faced a night without electricity on Sunday as Tropical Storm Irene, downgraded from a hurricane, continued to wreak havoc on power grids in New England even as it weakened, according to reports from power companies.
 New York City avoided the extensive damage and power loss that had been feared. For more see [ID:nN1E77R00E].
 While Irene’s visit took less than a day, work to restore power will likely take weeks and cost millions.
 As skies cleared and high wind retreated, some utilities along the eastern seaboard began sending workers to assess damage. Utilities normally spend the first hours after a storm looking at overall system damage so proper equipment and workers can be dispatched when restoration work begins in earnest.
 “With the passing of the storm, the damage assessment has begun,” John Bruckner, president for National Grid’s Long Island transmission and distribution services, told reporters.
 Utility line crews and tree trimmers will converge on storm-damaged areas. Many customers will have power restored in the first 24 to 48 hours, but full restoration is likely to take weeks, utility officials warned, due to flooding.
 Outages in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine jumped to nearly 1 million customers as the tropical storm headed north toward Canada.
 Irene also left thousands of other coastal residents served by electric cooperatives and other public power agencies without service.
 The level of outages caused by Irene surpasses Hurricane Wilma’s 2005 record when 3.2 million customers lost power as Wilma ripped across the Florida peninsula.  ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- AREA            POWER COMPANY                 CURRENT OUTAGES          PEAK ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- VIRGINIA        DOMINION RESOURCES (D.N)         705,364           1,200,000 CONNECTICUT     CONNECTICUT LIGHT & POWER        612,721                   LONG ISLAND     LONG ISLAND POWER (LIPA)         471,000                   BALTIMORE       BGE (Constellation) CEG.N      466,045                   NEW JERSEY      PSEG (PEG.N)                     392,000                   NEW JERSEY      JERSEY CENTRAL P&L (FE.N)        373,000                   MASSACHUSETTS   NATIONAL GRID                    318,831                   PENNSYLVANIA    PECO (EXC.N)                     297,000                   RHODE ISLAND    NATIONAL GRID                    278,349                   DC/MD/VA        PEPCO POWER (Pepco) POM.N      172,180                   N CAROLINA      PROGRESS ENERGY PGN.N          150,835             440,000 PENNSYLVANIA    MET-ED (FE.N)                    120,000                   NEW JERSEY      ATLANTIC CITY (Pepco) POM.N    109,083                   NEW YORK        NYSEG                            107,000                   MARYLAND        DELMARVA POWER (Pepco) POM.N   104,277                   NEW YORK        CON ED  (ED.N)                   101,179                   N CAROLINA      DOMINION RESOURCES (D.N)          70,835                   MAINE           CENTRAL MAINE POWER               50,000                   TOTAL                                          4,899,699           1,640,000 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------  (Reporting by Eileen O‘Grady, Bernie Woodall, Selam Gebrekidan, David Sheppard, Jeanine Prezioso, Joshua Schneyer; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Braden Reddall and Dale Hudson)      

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