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Northeast digs out from massive snowstorm

BOSTON (AP) - The massive snowstorm that swept across the Northeast has knocked out power to almost 640,000 homes and businesses.

Officials say wet, heavy snow and high winds snapped power lines. More than 650,000 were without power at the storm's peak. Massachusetts is hardest hit, with more than 400,000 without power Saturday. In neighboring Rhode Island, about 180,000 customers have lost power. Utilities in both states warned that it could be days before service is restored.

Connecticut's largest utility reports power failures affecting 38,000 homes and businesses. On New York's Long Island, about 10,000 lost power.

In Maine, about 12,000 customers lost power at the storm's peak. Officials in New Jersey say just a few thousand customers lost power, and nearly all had their service restored Saturday. A few hundred failures were reported in New Hampshire.

Mass. boy dies of carbon monoxide in running car

The Boston fire department says an 11-year-old boy has died of carbon monoxide poisoning after being overcome as he sat in a running car to keep warm, while his father was shoveling snow to get the car out of a snow bank.

Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said the boy was helping his father shovel the snow in the Dorchester neighborhood Saturday but got cold, so his father started the car and the boy got inside. MacDonald said the car exhaust was covered by a snow bank, causing the fumes to collect in the vehicle.

When the boy was overcome by the fumes, the father went into respiratory arrest and emergency workers took both to Boston Medical Center. The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital. No names were released.

Phone cos: Cell service holding up after storm

Cellphone companies say their networks are largely up and running after a blizzard dumped up to 3 feet of snow on New England. Not all cell towers have backup power, so natural disasters can take out cell service through power outages. Last fall's Superstorm Sandy had a major impact on cell service in flooded areas of the Northeast.

This week's snowstorm had much less effect. AT&T Inc. says the "vast majority" of its cell towers in the hardest-hit states are operating fine, and work is under way to restore service in some areas.

Verizon Wireless, which prides itself on providing backup power to nearly all sites, says its network is performing well.

Sprint Nextel Corp. says the storm's impact was "minimal."


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