BOSTON (CBS) – More than 70,000 customers are still without power two days after Hurricane Sandy hit Massachusetts. That’s down from a peak of just under 400,000 Monday night.

The state expects power to be restored for everyone by Friday evening.

Governor Deval Patrick met with state officials Wednesday to asses the utility companies’ performances and says they restored power at twice the rate they did after last October’s snow storm.

“After 36 hours, 80 percent of those without power have had their power restored,” said Patrick at a news conference.

He wasn’t ready to declare Hurricane Sandy a victory for the utility companies but noted that communication improved between government agencies, power customers and the suppliers.

“Compared to most other states, the utility companies have stepped up their game. We appreciate that,” said Patrick.

The governor says the state’s Department of Public Utilities will now lean on companies to improve further on their performance by making infrastructure investments in chronic problem areas.

DPU’s “Grid Modernization Proceedings” will take a look at areas like Framingham and Worcester to determine if utility lines need to be updated.

One neighborhood in Watertown took two days to get power turned back on after a 37-year-old oak tree came crashing down Monday afternoon. The tree brought down two utility poles and damaged two homes.

“As the pole came down you could hear the rumble,” said homeowner Dan Rosadi who repeatedly asked the town to cut down the tree.

Hundreds of homes were affected by those two poles on Boyd Street. Rosadi and his neighbors say utility company NStar responded immediately, but it took a long time to coordinate tree removal service, pole installation, and telephone service.


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