Natural Disasters

Sandy Blackouts Hit Millions

But Gossip Girl is on tonight!

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The number of power outages caused by hurricane Sandy as it barreled toward the New Jersey shore shot up Monday afternoon and then soared in the evening, posing a growing challenge to utility companies that were bracing for the storm's worst effects.

By mid-afternoon, with the giant storm still about 100 miles at sea and hours before its expected landfall in the evening, more than 300,000 consumers in 11 states were left in the dark. That was a big jump in overall outages from the six states and 36,400 customers that had reported being out of power just six hours earlier, according to the US Department of Energy's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.