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October 30, 2011

STORM UPDATE: Power outages mount in Valley, Southern NH

Power outages throughout the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire continued to climb today, as tree branches weighed down with foliage packed in snow, came down on power lines.

As of 8 a.m., more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the Merrimack Valley and Southern New Hampshire covered by The Eagle-Tribune circulation are were without electricity.

Shortly after 8:30 a.m., Comcast customers in Methuen reported to have their cable service interrupted. It is not known at this point how widespread the outage is.

More details to come.

A Comcast spokesperson says the service interruptions mirror the power outages. She said all available crews are working, but did not know if things would be working in time for this afternoon's televised Patriot's game from Pittsburgh.

It could be up to a week before power is restored to all PSNH customers in New Hampshire who have lost power, the utility's director of customer operations, David Bickford, said this morning.

It's easier to count people in Southern New Hampshire with power than those without. All three utilities - Public Service of New Hampshire, Unitil and New Hampshire Electric Co-op - are reporting significant outages. Restoration estimates are impossible to predict at this time.

As of this morning, PSNH reported 99.9 percent of its 4,877 customers in Windham were in the dark. In Derry, it was 86 percent or 12,060 people, without power. One hundred percent of the utility's customers in Atkinson and Danville were powerless, 131 and 230, respectively. PSNH had more problems in Hampstead, where 4,086 of its 4,326 customers were affected. Eighty-five percent of the company's 10,400 Londonderry customers were dark. In Sandown, it was 99 percent, 1,064

Until is bringing in about 300 additional crews from as far away as Michigan and Canada to help restore power here. As of 8:45 a.m., 3,624 of the utility's 4,054 customers in Plaistow were awaiting restoration. In Danville, all 1,471 customers were dark, as were 86 in Hampstead. Kingston numbers were 2,983 of 3,030 Unitil customers out. Just three Unitil customers in Newton had power, meaning 2,121 were out of luck. In Derry, just three Unitil customers were affected.

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