Nearly 3M People Without Power As Ike Hits

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HOUSTON - Nearly 3 million people are without power in the Houston area as Hurricane Ike slams the Texas coast.

It will likely be a while before electricity returns. CenterPoint Energy says it could take weeks before all the power in the nation's fourth-largest city was restored.

Utility spokesman Floyd LeBlanc said 1.3 million customers — or about 2.9 million people — had lost power by the time the storm made landfall at Galveston early Saturday. Work crews were coming in Monday to restore power, and priority will be given to hospitals, fire and police departments and water and sewage treatment plants.

The city's last direct hit from a hurricane came from Alicia in 1983, when 750,000 CenterPoint customers lost power. It took 16 days to restore all service.