Frigid Temps, Snow Could Slow Efforts to Restore Power

LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) -- Frigid temperatures from the Great Lakes to New England are making repair work more difficult as utility crews try to restore power to more than half a million people in the U.S. and Canada.

Crews have been working around the clock and making progress, but the cold means ice isn't melting off lines and limbs. And wind gusts of more than 20 miles an hour threaten to bring down more branches. Forecasts call for two to 6 inches of snow in places Thursday, and that could further hamper line crews trying to get to remote spots.

In Litchfield, Maine, temperatures dropped to 4 degrees overnight. A school has been converted into a shelter, and volunteers have tried to make it homey. For Christmas Day, they cooked up a ham dinner with potatoes, vegetables, bread and pie.

Ashley Walter says her family is staying positive, and making sure they're celebrating Christmas. She says she packed stockings for everyone. Her husband Jacob has been making frequent trips home to check on the cats and the water pipes.

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