SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

December 26, 2013

Coming snow could slow power restoration efforts

(Continued)

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. Maine still had about 60,000 people without power, down from a high of 106,000.

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

The ice storm last weekend was one of the worst to hit during a Christmas week, and repair crews were working around the clock to restore service. States that weren’t hit were sending crews to help.

In Michigan, about 156,000 people were still without power yesterday afternoon, down from more than 500,000 at the storm’s peak. Snow is falling across most of the state, and temperatures are in the teens and 20s.

So far, authorities blame the storm for 25 deaths; 15 in the U.S. and 10 in Canada, including five who apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning. In Michigan, police say a 73-year-old woman died Christmas Eve when she ran a stop light that was out of service because of the ice storm.

In Canada, about 160,000 customers were without power yesterday. 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.

At the shelter in Maine, volunteers have tried to make it homey. For Christmas Day, they cooked up a ham dinner with potatoes, vegetables, bread and pie for dessert.

“They have been amazing,” Walter said, adding that the volunteers set up a separate room for her and Leah so they wouldn’t disturb others when the infant woke during the night. “They just try to make everything better for us.”

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