Power Still Out for 895K
East Coasters left with cold water, refrigerators full of rotting food
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2011 9:19 AM CDT
A crew from PSE&G puts a new power line from one utility pole to another as the clean up from Hurricane Irene continues, Aug. 29, 2011 in Hoboken, N.J.   (AP Photo/Joe Epstein)

(Newser) – A whole lot of East Coast dwellers are getting just a wee bit annoyed with their utility companies. It's been almost a week since Hurricane Irene, but an estimated 895,000 homes and businesses still don't have power, the AP reports. "It's like Little House on the Prairie times," says one Rhode Island resident who has been forced to turn to the Red Cross for food and water. "Except I'm not enjoying it at all."

The outcry has prompted one Rhode Island state senator to call for an investigation, while a Massachusetts lawmaker is working on a bill that would force power companies to rebate customers the cost of two days of power for every one lost. But the utilities insist they're doing the best they can. The president for National Grid in Rhode Island says it has brought in crews from as far away as Kansas and Idaho to try to repair the damage.