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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The power continues to come on across eastern North Carolina, with the outages caused by Hurricane Irene now below 34,000 from a peak of around 600,000 after the storm hit last weekend.

Progress Energy said early Thursday about 5,400 customers were still without electricity.

Dominion Power had less than 20,000 customers in North Carolina without power.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives and municipal power agencies did not have updated figures early Thursday, but reported about 9,000 outages late Wednesday.

Those numbers are expected to fall as utility crews fan out around the coast fixing broken electrical connections and downed wires.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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