Thousands of people in Lycoming, Clinton and Sullivan counties remained without power Tuesday in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's arrival along the mid-Atlantic coast, downing power lines and trees as it came into the area Monday.
And power companies are telling customers it could take days for some households and businesses to have electricity restored.
In Lycoming County, almost 2,100 power outages were reported at 4 p.m. Tuesday by PPL Electric Utilities, although 4,700 customers had their power back after losing it since the storm hit.
Power outages were due to falling trees onto wires, according to PPL. Piatt, Watson and Lycoming townships in Lycoming County represented more than 1,250 reports.
"We are at what we call the assessment and restoration phase," said PPL spokeswoman Teri J. MacBride.
Some areas that were heavily affected by the storm could be without power for about a week, she said, although she was not able to list specific locations. Some places that do have power may be impacted in attempts to get other locations back online, according to PPL.
"We will be doing outreach to those customers by phone, text or email and then directing them to get free water and ice if that's helpful to them," MacBride said.
"We're still getting calls from people reporting outages, and that's exactly what we need people to do," she said.
PPL has restored power to more than 70,000 customers in its 29-county service area, according to MacBride. Statewide, more than 347,000 PPL customers were without power late Tuesday afternoon.
"We knew we were going to be impacted by this storm," she said, noting that an additional 1,600 workers from North Carolina, George, Florida, Georgia, Indiana and Missouri were called in to assist before Sandy made landfall.
In all, PPL has 4,350 people working to restore power across the state, MacBride said. Those reporting outages can call 800-342-5775 or visit www.pplelectric.com.
"The more information we have, the better we can assess damages on the system and properly prioritize repairs," she said.
MacBride also said crews' abilities were limited Monday evening because of severe weather.
"It's still going to be a process that takes time because we have to do it safely. We can't raise a bucket into the air until the wind stopped," she said. "There are only a certain number of jobs that can be done in very wet conditions."
Hospitals, water and sewer plants and public safety facilities receive first priority in restoring power, MacBride said.
"We also give priority to where there are wires down and other unsafe situations," she said.
Sullivan County Rural Electric Cooperative in Forksville reported Tuesday that numerous customers in northern Lycoming County and beyond were without power.
"Crews are working in known problem areas. Due to the amount of damage caused by the wind, trees, etc., (customers) should prepare for the eventuality of outages lasting a few days in duration," a statement on the cooperative's Facebook page said.
In Clinton County, 712 households did not have electricity as of late Tuesday afternoon in PPL's service area. Those power interruptions were mostly in Pine Creek, Wayne and Bald Eagle townships.
Penelec in Sullivan County reported 1,461 outages in Laporte, Cherry, Colley and Davidson townships. That company, which also serves parts of Lycoming County, reported 262 outages in Lewis, McIntyre and Shrewsbury townships late Tuesday afternoon.