The devastation wrought by Hurricane Ike is being felt across the Midwest, as more than 3 million homes and businesses are without power. Depending on their location, reconnection times could range from days to weeks, as officials and electrical companies struggle to return service.
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More than 3 million homes and businesses remained without power in eight states on Tuesday after Hurricane Ike, federal officials said.
Those in the Midwest are expected to be reconnected within days, while many Texans will have to wait weeks, according to utility companies commanding armies of employees working around the clock.
The biggest utility in Houston, the metropolitan area with the most outages, made significant progress by Tuesday. CenterPoint Energy said it had restored 667,000 customers with electric service, leaving about 1.5 million homes and businesses without refrigeration, air-conditioning, and roads without traffic signals.
More than 2.1 million CenterPoint customers, or 99 percent, lost power after the storm made landfall early on Saturday. CenterPoint has warned that it may take weeks to reconnect all customers.
About 3.9 million customers in eight states were without power Tuesday morning because of Ike, the U.S. Department of Energy reported. That figure was issued before CenterPoint and Midwestern utilities updated reconnection figures.
More than half of the DOE total was for outages in Texas — more than 2 million — and Ohio was next, with about 1 million outages, the DOE said.
Ike caused the largest single power outage in Texas, according to state regulators.