583K Still Have No Power After Ice Storm
And some may have to wait for weekend to get it back
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 6, 2014 8:53 AM CST
David Sarja clears the sidewalk in front of the Lutheran Healthdcare Center in Worcester, Mass on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014.   (Worcester Telegram & Gazette/Christine Peterson/staff)

(Newser) – Utility crews were working feverishly to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in Pennsylvania and surrounding states that were still in the dark and cold today after an ice storm knocked out electricity to more than a million customers, damage one official likened to that from a hurricane. What made this storm—the Northeast's second of the week—stand out, and caused all those outages, was the thick coating of ice it left on trees and power lines. At its height, the storm knocked out power to nearly 849,000 customers in Pennsylvania, most of them in the counties around Philadelphia.

PECO, southeastern Pennsylvania's dominant utility, warned it could be until the weekend before the lights come back on for all of its more than 431,000 customers without power this morning. It was the second-worst storm in PECO's history, eclipsed only by Superstorm Sandy in 2012. FirstEnergy was reporting almost 49,000 customers without power, while PPL was reporting more than 20,000. In neighboring Maryland, where 76,000 customers were in the dark, power companies gave a restoration estimate of tomorrow. More than 7,000 New Jersey customers also lacked electricity. Officials pleaded with people not to use generators or gas grills indoors after 20 to 25 people in the Philadelphia area were taken to hospitals with carbon monoxide poisoning. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett also warned yesterday that an overnight refreeze could cause more problems on the roads today.

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Feb 6, 2014 7:33 PM CST
I used to live on an island and go weeks without power. Hated it, hated the cold and my business fell on its ass. I bought a house just for the car-sized whole house generator and two, thousand gallon propane tanks. Seriously, never even cared about the inside and why my dishwasher is five feet from the sink--who does that? I just cared about the power cause when you've done without for way too many times--you buy a generator.
Feb 6, 2014 9:19 AM CST
I hate winter. Every part of it, the cold, the snow, the glistening ice hanging on the neighbors tree that caused the limb to fall on my car, the ice on the same neighbors back yard tree that took my power line down. The ice on my tree that hit my neighbors house. I hate winter.
Feb 6, 2014 9:03 AM CST
I had an electrician come in and redo the wiring the wiring to the Furnace. It was hardwired into the wall and I wanted it to plug in. Now I can plug that furnace into a generator. I also bought two generators. One is an inexpensive 800 watt 2 cycle that I can set up in just a few minutes to run the furnace. It can run the fridge but not both at the same time. Thats a quick and dirty set up to get me some time. I also have a 3500 watt 4 cycle that can run the furnace, fridge, lights, TV and computer for days on end. Its more of a pain to store than the 2 cycle because the gas needs to be drained, oil checked and such but its awesome to have. They paid for themselves the first time I used them. Recommended.