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Pepco says power restored to Washington, D.C. customers

(Reuters) - Pepco, a unit of Pepco Holdings Inc, has restored service to about 50,000 Washington, D.C. homes and businesses that lost power earlier on Friday after a tree hit a transmission line, according to the power company's website.

With the return of the Pepco customers, utilities in the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic said there were only about 10,000 customers out from New England to the Carolinas due to the massive blizzard pummeling the area.

About half of the current outages - estimated at 4,700 - are on Long Island, New York, where the state-owned Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) is the electric utility company.

Weather forecasters say the storm could drop up to three feet (nearly one meter) of snow in parts of New England over the next couple of days.

Earlier on Friday, Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey told Reuters a tree fell on a major transmission line, affecting four substations and knocking out power to some 50,000 customers.

"It's not clear if it was related to the storm," Hainey said.

(Reporting by Scott DiSavino and David Sheppard in New York; editing by Sofina Mirza-Reid, Gunna Dickson, Dale Hudson, G Crosse)