1.4 million still blacked out after broad U.S. storm

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Last year, it took Baltimore Gas and Electric company eight and a half days to restore service to all 750,000 customers who lost power during Hurricane Irene. This time, the power company initially confronted more than 600,000 people without power. It said restoration efforts will extend into the weekend.

Baltimore Gas and Electric said in a letter posted on its website that it would take hundreds of thousands of man-hours to clear debris and work through outages. Crews were working around the clock in 16-hour shifts.

“This type of widespread, extensive damage also complicates our ability to quickly provide accurate restoration times, especially when original damage assessments are revised upon closer inspection of the work required,” the letter said.

However, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley has been blunt that the utilities must work faster: “No one will have his boot further up Pepco’s and BGE’s backsides than I will,” O’Malley said Sunday.

In Baltimore County, Eveena Felder, a registered nurse, had been relying on air-conditioned public areas to keep cool during the day and a fan to help her family sleep.

“We’ve purchased a ton of batteries, that’s where most of our money has gone,” Felder said. “Turn the fan on and keep still, don’t move, less energy.”

Barakat reported from Falls Church, Va., and Silver Spring, Md. Associated Press writers David Dishneau in Rockville, Md., Dan Sewell in Cincinnati; Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio; and Vicki Smith in Morgantown, W.Va., contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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