UPDATE: Power Restored to Hundreds of Thousands of Homes

UPDATE: Power Restored to Hundreds of Thousands of Homes

More than 4.5 million homes and businesses are still without power.

Published August 28, 2011

One of two people rescued from a sailboat, right, uses a line to make their way onto the beach in Norfolk, Virginia, Saturday, after they and another person were rescued from the boat that foundered in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. (Photo: AP Photo/TheVirginian-Pilot, Bill Tiernan)

 

Power is being returning to hundreds of thousands of people after Hurricane Irene passed through coastal states in the South.

 

More than 4.5 million homes and businesses along the coast lost power, and at least 14 deaths were blamed on the storm.

 

With roads impassable because of high water and fallen trees, it could be days before the full extent of the damage is known. But as day broke Sunday, surprisingly light damage was reported in many places, with little more than downed trees and power lines, writes the Associated Press.

 

Repair crews in Virginia, the Carolinas and Maryland Sunday rushed out after Irene turned north. Irene flooded power stations, toppled trees and tore down electrical wires. More than four million homes and businesses are still without power.

 

In Manhattan, Consolidated Edison said it was optimistic that it wouldn't need to cut power to the financial district. So far, sensitive underground power lines haven't been flooded.

 

In New York City, Con Edison said Sunday that 72,000 customers in the five boroughs and Westchester County had lost electrical service because of severe winds.

 

The hurricane’s high winds also have toppled trees and power lines throughout the company’s service area, most extensively in Queens, where an estimated 25,000 customers are without power.

 

Sustained winds of up to 115 mph whipped the East Coast on Saturday, ripping power lines from poles and snapping trees in half.

 

Stay with BET.com for more updates.

Written by Britt Middleton

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