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Atlantic storm hampers Sandy recovery

Nov. 8, 2012 at 7:07 AM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Thousands of U.S. East Coast electricity customers, who lost power due to Hurricane Sandy, were again left in the dark after a strong Atlantic storm struck.

The U.S. Energy Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability said the number of customers without power increased by 22,156 to 672,572 as of Tuesday afternoon.

"The increase reflects customers who have lost power due to the nor'easter," the Energy Department said.

More than 8 million customers along the East Coast were without power because of Sandy, a Category 1 hurricane that made landfall Oct. 29. The storm left more than 100 people dead.

This week a second storm afflicted the area with heavy snow and additional power outages.

The hurricane also created a regional fuel crisis. The Energy Department issued waivers for certain shipping requirements for oil cargoes while environmental regulators eased restrictions on gasoline blends to ensure supplies were adequate.

Gasoline prices in the region have remained elevated. Commuters in New York, as of Thursday morning, were paying around $3.98 for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline, about 6 cents higher than one month ago and 52 cents higher than the national average.

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