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Three days after Sandy, 659,000 ConEd customers in NY powerless

A food cart is the only light in a neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A food cart is the only light in a neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York October 31, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - New York power company Consolidated Edison Inc said Thursday it still had about 659,400 homes and businesses without power three days after monster storm Sandy slammed into the U.S. East Coast.

Sandy hit the East Coast late Monday leaving more than 8.48 million customers without power in 21 states from North Carolina to Maine and as far west as Illinois.

Con Edison said in a report it has restored power to more than 225,000 customers since Sandy's departure.

The company said the storm was the worst natural disaster to strike its service area.

Con Edison said it expects to make significant progress restoring electricity over the next two days with help from additional crews from around the country arriving daily from as far away as California.

That is consistent with the company's earlier expectations.

On Wednesday, the company said customers in Manhattan and Brooklyn served by underground equipment should have power back within three days and said it would take at least a week to restore all of those in areas served by overhead power lines.

As of 4:30 a.m. EDT Thursday, Con Edison said about 227,000 customers were still out in Manhattan, 103,000 in Queens, 59,000 in Brooklyn, 83,000 in Staten Island, 36,000 in the Bronx and 166,000 in Westchester County. (By 8.45 a.m., the total number of clients was down to 659,400.)

Late Wednesday, Con Edison said it restored power to customers served by two underground electrical networks in Manhattan and Brooklyn that were taken out Monday night as the floodwaters from the storm were surging.

The networks serve about 2,000 customers in lower Manhattan and 28,200 in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn. Con Edison warned that some buildings in restored neighborhoods may still be without electricity due to basement flooding or damage to local equipment.

(Reporting By Scott DiSavino; Editing by Claudia Parsons)

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