ALFRED (AP) – The number of Maine homes and businesses still without electricity has fallen to an estimated 7,850 as hundreds of utility crews continue restoring power in southern Maine. Central Maine Power said all of the outages are in York County, with all power in the midcoast area restored during the day Tuesday. At the peak, last week’s ice storm left more than 220,000 customers in the dark in Maine. CMP spokeswoman Gail Rice said she expects power to be totally restored to all customers by late Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, President Bush has granted Gov. John Baldacci’s request for an emergency declaration, which allows the federal government to release supplies to assist emergency and utility workers in the final stretch of restoring electricity. It covers York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Knox and Waldo counties.

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