More than 1.7 million people are without power after last weekend
More than 1.7 million people are without power after last weekend's snow storm.
PHOTO: Getty Images

Story highlights

NEW: About 195,000 New Jersey residents remain without power

About 612,000 Connecticut residents still have no electricity

Trick-or-treat postponements spread through the Northeast

The death toll from the storm is now at 15

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(CNN) —  

Utility companies in five states scrambled to restore power to more three quarters of million people still in the dark by late Wednesday afternoon after a snowstorm pounded the U.S. Northeast over the weekend.

Fisher, along with her husband and their 6-month-old daughter, have been camped out at a neighbor’s house in Maplewood, New Jersey, since the weekend storm coated her home in snow and knocked down trees and power lines across the region.

“There are just pockets of those who have electricity,” Fisher said Tuesday. “So we’re using our neighbors’ goodwill. We’ll owe them lots.”

“We’ll owe them lots.”

Fisher said the time frame to restore power keeps changing.

Fisher said that while she and her husband are accustomed to cold weather, they didn’t want to risk it with their child.

“Every time I call (the state’s utility provider), they say the ticket’s open,” she said. “Initially the message (of when power would be restored) was for Wednesday night, then Thursday, and now maybe Friday.

“Luckily, we have nice neighbors,” she added.

By late Wednesday afternoon, more than 90,000 people in New Jersey and about 537,000 others in Connecticut remained without power, according to the states’ utility companies.

Widespread power outages and transit delays marked the start of a challenging week for millions of residents of the Northeastern United States, where a freak October snowstorm dropped more than 2 feet of snow in some places.

But while temperatures are on the rise for parts of the Northeastern United States, more than 1 million residents were still in the dark, dealing with widespread power outages.

On Monday, officials warned it could be Friday before power is back on everywhere.

At least 13 deaths have been blamed on the weekend storm, which prompted emergency declarations from the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, and also put Halloween trick-or-treating plans in jeopardy.

President Barack Obama signed an emergency declaration for Connecticut on Monday, ordering federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts.

“No amount of candy is worth a potentially serious or even fatal accident,” the governor said in a statement.

By Tuesday evening, about 612,000 Connecticut residents remained without power, down from a peak of 830,000, according to the state utility company. More than 900 crews were restoring electricity.

About a dozen Massachusetts cities postponed Halloween celebrations, according to CNN affiliate WGGB.

At least 20 Connecticut cities and towns, including the capital, Hartford, canceled events or asked parents to wait until later to take their kids trick-or-treating, according to CNN affiliate WFSB.

Malloy and his wife, Cathy, said they will be leaving the lights off.

“No amount of candy is worth a potentially serious or even fatal accident,” the governor said in a statement.

In Worcester, Massachusetts, officials asked residents to postpone celebrations until Thursday, when temperatures are expected to climb to 60 degrees. Trick-or-treating, the city said, would “put families and our youth in harm’s way as they negotiate piles of snow and downed limbs.”

In Springfield, Massachusetts, school officials announced classes would be canceled for the week.

Some of the heaviest snow fell in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, but snowfall amounts of at least a foot were recorded from West Virginia to Maine. The Berkshire County community of Peru, Massachusetts, received 32 inches of snow during the storm.

In Massachusetts, state officials said utility crews had come from as far as Louisiana and Texas to help. Patrick said utility crews had made a 23% dent in the number of buildings without power as of Monday morning.

About 478,000 people remained without power Monday evening, according to officials.

Elsewhere, about 202,000 customers were without power in Pennsylvania; 116,000 in New Jersey and 127,000 in New York, according to figures from emergency managers and power companies in those states. Thousands also lost power in New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia.

As of Monday, authorities reported at least 13 deaths attributed to the storm.

Three people died in Massachusetts, Patrick said, including a Lunenberg resident who died in a fire and a resident of Hatfield who succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently from an improperly vented generator.

The third death happened in Springfield when a man in his 20s ignored police barricades surrounding downed power lines and touched a metal guardrail, which was charged, city fire department spokesman Dennis Legere said.

Four people also died in New Jersey because of the storm, police said. Two were killed in motor vehicle accidents, one in Bergen County and one in Passaic County, while two others died after trees fell on their cars.

In Connecticut, two people died, including a motorist involved in a traffic accident in Hebron.

CNN’s Chuck Johnston and Marina Landis contributed to this report.