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November 01. 2012 12:33AM

Push on to get all power back in NH

The first wave of 75 two-man line crews arrived in Manchester from Quebec Wednesday afternoon, and Public Service of New Hampshire said it will have a town-by-town breakdown of restoration times available this morning.

The crews from Hydro-Quebec are to join PSNH line crews and contractors that have been working to restore power since Monday, when Hurricane Sandy brushed the Granite State with heavy winds and strong rains.

As of 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, about 29,000 PSNH customers were without power. The number is about one-third of the 93,000 who were without power just 24 hours before. The New Hampshire Electric Cooperative had about 2,200 customers without power while the state's other electricity providers, Liberty Utilities and Unitil Corp., combined had less than 50 customers without power.

PSNH said it expects restoration will be "substantially complete" by Friday evening. The town-by-town listing will spell out when 95 percent or more of customers should have their power restored.

PSNH President Gary Long and Northeast Utilities chief-executive Tom May were in Manchester to welcome most of the Hydro-Quebec crews Wednesday. Some remained in the Pittsburg area, but the rest will be assigned to southern New Hampshire, including Keene and Hillsborough.

PSNH said the southern corridor of Interstate 93 west to Keene is the hardest hit area, as well as areas north of Rochester.

Hurricane Sandy has resulted in the fourth highest number of power failures in PSNH's 86-year history. The five largest storms have all occurred in the last 4 1/2 years.


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