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Most power in Mass. expected to be restored by today

Hurricane Sandy swamped Scituate and other towns Monday. The storm dumped from 2½ to 4 inches of rain on the state.

DAVID L RYAN/GLOBE STAFF

Hurricane Sandy swamped Scituate and other towns Monday. The storm dumped from 2½ to 4 inches of rain on the state.

Three days after Hurricane Sandy hammered Massachusetts, some 15,000 customers remained without power at midday today, down from a high of about 385,000 at the height of the storm that has ravaged New York and New Jersey.

But Massachusetts’ two major utility companies say most people will be able to turn on their lights by tonight.

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National Grid reported about 8,000 outages across the Bay State. NStar reported about 7,000, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said.

NStar is reporting that two communities with the highest percentage of outages – up to 20 percent — are Weston and Lincoln, two comfortable but tree-filled suburbs west of the city.

As of Wednesday, more than 35 Massachusetts communities were declared back to normal, NStar spokeswoman Caroline Pretyman said.

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“As the large area outages have been restored, crews are now focusing on the smaller pockets of customers often impacted by heavy tree conditions,” she said.

In National Grid’s Massachusetts service area, Sandy tore down 10,000 wires and knocked out power to 11 transmission lines, eight substations, and 60 main distribution lines, the utility said.

“We want our Massachusetts customers to know that we are out in full force, working to restore their power as quickly and safely as possible,” National Grid spokeswoman Deborah Drew said in an e-mail Wednesday.

National Grid is estimating that it should complete its repair tasks by Friday, and reports that Worcester, Essex, Middlesex, and Bristol counties have the highest percentage of customers without power.

Governor Deval Patrick has said his administration is watching how efficiently utilities repair storm damage. Some companies faced multimillion-dollar fines for flawed responses to two major storms last year.

Melissa Werthmann can be reached at melissa.werthmann@globe.com.
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