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Massachusetts Utilities Restoring Power after Storm; Governor Seeks Federal Aid

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-991918.mp3

Boston, MA – Massachusetts utilities are making progress restoring power after a damaging October snowstorm left about 670,000 homes and businesses in the dark. WAMC's Tristan O'Neill reports...

A spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency says about 437,000 utility customers remained without power early last night. The utilities are bringing in crews from across the country to boost restoration efforts, after the worst October snowstorm on record in Massachusetts.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts officials say three people have died from incidents related to the storm. In Hatfield, a 49-year-old woman, who turned on a propane heater to warm her home after losing power, died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

In Springfield, a man was electrocuted after stepping on a downed power line.

And in Lunenburg, one person was killed when a house caught fire. Authorities believe the blaze was caused by either a candle or attempts to use a fireplace to heat the home.

Following the devastating storm, Governor Deval Patrick has formally requested an emergency declaration from the White House to get federal assistance for local communities. The governor signed a letter Monday afternoon seeking the emergency aid, which could be granted as early as today. It would make cities and towns eligible to recover up to 75 percent of cleanup costs from the storm.

Tristan O'Neill, WAMC News.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.