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Some 120,000 Mass. Customers Still Lack Power

The wait continues for tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents who have been without electricity since last weekend's freak fall snowstorm.

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The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said as of 7 p.m. Thursday, some 120,000 utility customers around the state remained in the dark.

The statewide number dropped by only a few thousand since the morning, suggesting that many of the remaining outages are smaller and more isolated.

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National Grid President Marcy Reed says the utility expects restoration to be "substantially complete" by Thursday night, but she added that some customers, especially in rural areas, may be waiting a bit longer.

Reed says the company has restored about 80 percent of the outages in its service areas since the storm.

On Wednesday, Gov. Deval Patrick expressed frustration with the pace of power restoration and Attorney General Martha Coakley called for a formal investigation into restoration efforts and how prepared the utilities were for the storm.

Coakley said Wednesday that her office has received a number of complaints regarding the power restoration process by utilities. Coakley said there have also been questions about how prepared the utilities have been for a series of recent storms and how quickly they are able to respond to outages while also keeping lines of communication open with local officials and customers.

MEMA said just under 1,500 people spent Wednesday night in dozens of shelters still operating in the state. In all, MEMA reports 48 shelters and 13 warming centers still open around the state.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

This program aired on November 3, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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