More Than 1M Still Powerless After Ice Storm

Thousands still in shelters
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2009 2:25 PM CST
Rob Serverius of Manchester, N.H. clears ice-covered branches of trees from a closed road after a storm in Derry, N.H., Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – From Missouri to West Virginia, thousands of people are still holed up in makeshift shelters as utility crews frantically work to return water and heat to their homes, the AP reports. More than 1.3 million homes remain without power after the recent ice storm, and though workers are making progress, utility companies say it could be 2 weeks before the hardest-hit areas get back on the grid.

“We got food, but I'm just worried about staying warm,” said one woman, who was standing in a 50-person line to buy kerosene in Paducah, Ky. Motels offering special “power outage rates” are booked solid. One theater in Kentucky is stuffed to the gills, and many people sleep in the aisles or seats. With cell phone reception spotty, volunteers are roaming neighborhoods, letting people know where to find shelter.