Thousands of people across New England may be dining in the dark this Thanksgiving, as a powerful Northeast snowstorm wiped out electricity across the region on Wednesday.
More than 160,000, or 34 percent, of people served by the Public Service of New Hampshire remained without power as of 8:00 a.m. Thursday.
An additional 18,000 people in the state served by Unitil were also experiencing outages.
Already, the company was encouraging those experiencing outages to seek other arrangements for their Thanksgiving meals.
"While we will be continuing to restore, customers without power this morning should make alternative plans if possible for their holiday dinner," Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O'Meara said.
"Once the damage assessment phase is complete, we'll have a clear picture as to how long it will take to restore power to all customers, but it is clear we will be working through Thanksgiving in Concord," O'Meara said.
In neighboring Maine, the problem is similar. The combination of heavy snow on power lines and car accidents resulting in downed utility poles has left more than 100,000 people served by Central Maine Power in darkness.
"The heavy, wet snow that started around midday has built up on roads, tree limbs and power lines, causing numerous outages across our service area," said Gail Rice, spokesperson for Central Maine Power in a press release Wednesday.
"We know people are eager to get power back, or get an estimate on restoration time, so they can move ahead with Thanksgiving plans. But with widespread storm damage, and snow still creating difficult travel and working conditions for crews, we're not able to provide restoration estimates yet," Rice said.
No further updates had been issued as of Thursday morning.
Though the snow retreated for most areas early Thursday, temperatures through Saturday will hover at or below freezing, preventing much of the snow from melting.
Additional outages may amount as the heavy snow lingers, testing the strength of tree limbs and power lines throughout the region.
The chilly air will also make it more of a struggle for residents who rely on electric heat.