HARTFORD, Connecticut - Utilities and governments along the East Coast are working to head off long-term power failures as forecasters predict a major storm to hit the region early next week.
The area is already skittish after foul weather in recent months that plunged residents into darkness for weeks, including Hurricane Irene and a freak Halloween snowstorm last year.
Power companies from the Southeast to New England are telling independent contractors to be ready to help fix damage quickly and are asking employees to cancel vacations and work longer hours.
Connecticut was among the hardest-hit states last year when Irene and the snowstorm knocked out power to more than 800,000 homes and businesses in the state.
Some were without electricity for more than a week after both storms.
DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press