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Worst-hit city to embrace light after 10 dark days
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Chenzhou, worst hit by the snow storm in central Hunan Province, is now connected with the provincial power grid, and its four million residents are likely to see power, water supply resume later Wednesday.

According to a meeting chaired by provincial governor Zhou Qiang early Wednesday morning, the city's power system was successfully wired to the provincial grid at 0:16 Wednesday morning.

With the help of electricians from across the country, servicemen and armed police forces now working here, power will be resumed step by step in the urban area of the city Wednesday, said Huang Qiang, deputy general manager of the Hunan Provincial Power Company.

More than 5,000 electricians, including 2,000 summoned from other provinces, were struggling to repair damaged power lines and pylons.

About 1,000 pylons and poles have collapsed under the weight of ice and snow, which means the local electricity grid that took decades to construct had been totally destroyed.

Road traffic was in chaos in the city as traffic lights were not working. People queued in front of the few banks with generators to draw cash.

Chenzhou residents have to collect coal and charcoal to warm themselves, which caused the prices to surge tenfold.

(Xinhua News Agency February 6, 2008)

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