Utility linemen brave cold, ice to restore power

Cory Bean works atop a utility pole to repair a power line, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in East Lansing, Mich. Bean is part of a crew from utility service company T&D Solutions out of Kentucky brought in to assist Consumers Energy in Michigan.

DETROIT (AP) -- Utility crews, many working double shifts, are chipping away at power outages left by last week's ice storm in Michigan, New England and into eastern Canada.

Michigan has gone from nearly 600,000 customers without power to fewer than 65,000. Maine, which was down to 20,000 customers without power just yesterday, is now down to 12,000. And in eastern Canada, nearly 62,000 customers are still without electricity, down from 101,000 yesterday.

Utility officials still say it could be days before power is restored to everyone.

The repair work is physical and dangerous, especially with below-freezing temperatures. Ice can weigh down power lines so that they break, or tree branches can fall and take the lines with them.

The storm has been blamed for 17 deaths in the U.S. and 10 in Canada. Five people apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning tied to using generators.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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