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Thousands remain without power in US

Power has yet not returned to hundreds of thousands of residents across several areas in the United States after tropical storm Irene swept the east coast.

Over 250,000 homes and businesses are still without power in the state of Connecticut, Reuters reported on Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands of others in New York and New Jersey are also still left in the dark.

Repair efforts in Connecticut have been hampered, mainly due to a large amount of fallen trees and blocked roads.

Moreover, floodwaters have remained high in several of its counties and hundreds of people have yet not been able to return to their homes.

New York was also severely damaged, and the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated that more than 600 homes had been destroyed as a result of the storm.

US President Barack Obama declared a “major disaster” in several areas in the state of New Jersey, North Carolina and New York on Wednesday in order to allow low-interest loans and federal funds to be made available for individuals affected by the storm.

The storm killed nearly 50 people across 13 states and left a trail of destruction along its path.

Early estimates have put the total cost of damages to more than USD 10 billion, making Irene the tenth natural disaster in the country resulting in USD 1 billion or more in damage so far in 2011.

Moreover, Obama had on Sunday made it clear that the impacts of Irene would be felt for some time as recovery efforts “will last for weeks or longer.”

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