Submitted by Cacky Catlett on Wed, 04/20/2011 - 9:10pm.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The lights are back on for nearly everyone in North Carolina who lost electricity during the deadly spring storms. Progress Energy announced late Wednesday that virtually all power has been restored to its customers. A handful of homes and businesses were damaged too badly for service to be restored. At one point, power outages from Saturday's storms affected more than 340,000 customers of the Raleigh-based utility. That's the highest number since December 2002. In some locations, the winds were so strong they actually swept poles and power lines away. More than 800 utility poles had to be replaced by the company. Progress CEO Lloyd Yates says the restoration effort involved more than 1,500 personnel working in the field. (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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