By DAVE COLLINS,  Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Utilities and governments along the East
Coast are working to head off long-term power failures as
forecasters predict a major storm to hit the region early next

The area is already skittish after foul weather in recent months
that plunged residents into darkness for weeks, including Hurricane
Irene and a freak Halloween snowstorm last year.

Power companies from the Southeast to New England are telling
independent contractors to be ready to help fix damage quickly and
are asking employees to cancel vacations and work longer hours.

Connecticut was among the hardest-hit states last year when
Irene and the snowstorm knocked out power to more than 800,000
homes and businesses in the state.

Some were without electricity for more than a week after both

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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