Image: Fallen trees hang on utility wires in East Derry, N.H.
Cheryl Senter  /  AP
Fallen trees hang on utility wires in East Derry, N.H., Saturday after a storm.
updated 2/27/2010 4:39:21 PM ET 2010-02-27T21:39:21

Frustration turned to resignation Saturday for hundreds of thousands of people in the Northeast struggling to survive another day waiting for utility crews to restore electricity after powerful storms socked the region with heavy snow, rain and hurricane-force winds.

The region was left to deal with the fallout of gusting winds that created near-blizzard conditions this week in what was the third strong storm this month for some areas. Parts of New York got more than 2 feet of snow while some areas of coastal New England were drenched with flooding rains.

One man was killed by a falling snow-laden tree branch in Central Park in New York City, and two people in Candia, N.H., died in a house fire caused by improperly using a propane heater to stay warm, fire officials said.

The highest wind reported from the storm was 91 mph off the coast of Portsmouth, N.H. — well above hurricane force of 74 mph. Gusts also hit 60 mph or more from the mountains of West Virginia to New York's Long Island and Massachusetts.

Frustration was beginning to show on Charlotte Letteney's face Saturday at Concord High School, one of 24 shelters in New Hampshire. Letteney, 64, of Allenstown, arrived Friday night with her 66-year-old husband, who is a quadriplegic, two granddaughters, her grandson-in-law and 6-month-old great-grandson.

The family left their mobile home when the temperature dropped to 46 degrees and Letteney's hands had gone numb, leaving behind four parrots in covered cages and a couple of days' worth of food for their dog, Bosco. They have no car — a city van brought them to the shelter — and no way to get home to feed the animals or to let the dog out.

"He'll go out in the kitchen, and I'll have to sterilize my floor," Letteney said.

Video: Crews scramble to restore power The Letteneys are among more than 1 million customers across the Northeast who lost power because of the storm, and as of Saturday afternoon more than half of them were still without electricity. New Hampshire's electrical grid was the hardest hit, with more than a quarter-million customers still without power. New York had more than 160,000 outages and Maine about 67,000.

Some residents were warned they'll be without electricity for up to a week, as uprooted trees and fallen utility poles hindered utility crews.

Bow, N.H., Assistant Fire Chief Dick Pistey compared the situation two years ago during a powerful ice storm when ice quickly coated trees, bringing down tree limbs and power lines, leaving millions without power — some for two weeks.

"It's deja vu all over again," Pistey said.

In Londonderry, N.H., Irene Stanley, 68, was sitting in a rocking chair next to a wood stove to keep warm, her royal blue beta fish in its container nearby. Stanley, who managed without power for nearly two weeks during the ice storm two years ago, said her mission for the day was to buy batteries to keep her radio operating.

In York, Maine, 70-year-old lobsterman Pat White, was able to use his generator to help cook a pancake breakfast Saturday to feed his neighbors who were without power — a father, his daughter and her baby. White and his wife, Enid, were planning what to serve them for dinner.

"We've got to use up some of the stuff in the refrigerator," he said.

Nick Vermette, 49, a safety specialist for Central Maine Power, the state's largest utility, was supervising crews restoring power in Portland on Saturday. He said the 17-hour days are exhausting.

"By the time you drive home take a shower, try to get to sleep, get up and come back, you're averaging four to five hours sleep," he said.

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Northeast snowstorm

loading photos...
  1. Sanitation worker John Kehley shovels snow from a bus stop on Madison Avenue on Saturday, Feb. 27, in New York City. New York City's Central Park received 20.9 inches, making it the snowiest month in the city's history. (David Goldman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Fallen trees hang on utility wires in East Derry, N.H., on Saturday. Utility crews pushed through deep drifting snow and fallen trees to restore electricity to homes and businesses that lost power during a slow-moving winter storm that pounded the Northeast with heavy snow, rain and hurricane-force winds. (Cheryl Senter / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Lynette Coto, 21, of Miami, top, and Devin Page, 23, of Toronto, duke it out in a snow ball fight in Central Park on Saturday. (David Goldman / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Robert Logan clears snow from the front of his store's ice machines in Philadelphia, Friday. More than 1 million people across the region lost power during the third major blizzard in less than a month. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. A woman takes a photo in New York City's Bryant Park on Friday. (Brendan Mcdermid / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Cold cycle: A biker crosses the Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Restaurant employees clear a path to the premises in New York City. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A downed tree makes a mess of powerlines and a road in Farmington, N.H. (Jim Cole / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. A resident braves a hailstorm in downtown Hampton Beach, N.H. (Cheryl Senter / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A worker uses a chain saw to cut a downed tree in Farmington, N.H. (Jim Cole / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A Long Island Railroad employee uses a snow blower to clear the walkway for train passengers in Port Washington, N.Y. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Long Island Railroad train conductor Eric Logan waits for a delayed train to arrive as passengers board in Port Washington, N.Y. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Vojtek Kulikowski shovels the steps in front of his home in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Justin Lane / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. A plow pushes snow onto parked cars in Brooklyn. (Justin Lane / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A man name clears snow from a sidewalk in Brooklyn. (David Boe / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. A man pushes a car in during the morning commute in Brooklyn. A windy winter storm moving through the Northeast knocked out power and caused travel delays. (Brendan McDermid / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Men with snow shovels wait to cross Broad Street during a winter storm in Philadelphia. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Snow blankets the streets in the Harlem neighborhood of New York. Over 6 inches had accumulated in parts of Manhattan, hindering public transportation and closing schools. (Jonathan D. Woods / msnbc.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Boonton Township residents go down the slope of Camp Dawson Park in Montville Township, NJ as their dog Trixie leaps along side Thursday. (Elbaliz Mendez / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Corine Simmons, 10, of Branchville, N.J., carries a snowball across her backyard during the Thursday, Feb. 25, snowstorm. (Anna Murphey / New Jersey Herald) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Connie Cannavale spends Thursday morning shoveling snow from the walkway in front of her home in Branchville, N.J. (Anna Murphey / New Jersey Herald) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. People stroll through Central Park in New York City Thursday as the region is hit with another storm that could drop as much as a foot of snow. (Timothy A. Clary / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Morning commuters make their way through Times Square in New York City as the first snow from a second storm this week falls on Thursday. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Foley Square in New York's Lower Manhattan saw light snow by Thursday morning. It didn't immediately stick, but lots more was expected through Friday. (Stan Honda / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. These travelers in Lakewood, N.J., saw slushy road conditions Thursday morning. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. This area of Lakewood, N.J., had turned white by Thursday morning. (Mel Evans / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A wind gust turned this commuter's umbrella inside out Thursday in Philadelphia. Gusts up to 60 mph were forecast for later in the day. (Matt Rourke / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Snow in Albany, N.Y., didn't stop this commuter on Wednesday. (Mike Groll / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Shovels were out in force on Wednesday in Albany, N.Y. (Mike Groll / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. A utility lineman works to restore power in Peterborough, N.H., on Wednesday after snow toppled trees onto power lines. (Jim Cole / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Snow covers the steps of New York's state Capitol in Albany on Wednesday. (Mike Groll / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,