After Sandy, a stunned Northeast struggles to its feet

But, Corbett added, "Anybody without electricity is probably not saying we dodged a bullet."

With forecasters saying the worst was in over in Pennsylvania Tuesday morning, Corbett said he believed the overall impact would be less severe than last year's Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

The storm proved deadly in Pennsylvania, however. Robert Mills of Wind Gap, 17, died after crashing an all-terrain-vehicle into a fallen tree about 9:30 p.m. Monday in Plainfield Township.

Mills, of the first block of Eighth Street, died in Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest after suffering fatal head injuries, according to Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim.

Mills' passenger, whose name was not released, was also hospitalized with serious injuries, said Plainfield Township police officer John Thompson.

"I assume they were just joyriding, but why you would joyride during a hurricane, I don't know," Thompson said.

In Berks County, 62-year-old Gerald Witman was killed when a tree fell on his home in Pike Township near Boyertown.

Statewide there were two other deaths — an 8-year-old boy struck by a tree limb in Susquehanna County and a man who fell out of a tree while trimming branches in Lancaster County.

The ripple effect of the storm is likely to be felt for days, as utility companies work to restore power.

Allentown-based PPL said more than 400,000 customers had lost electricity. Only two storms have darkened more of the utility's households and businesses: Hurricane Isabel in 2003 and Hurricane Irene last year.

Statewide, PPL serves 1.4 million customers in 29 counties.

After last October's snowstorm, many customers were out of power for five days. But some could be in the dark for even longer this time around because PPL's service area has been affected by more, smaller problems involving individual distribution lines, each requiring the services of both a tree-trimming crew and line crew. In contrast, the snowstorm disabled more transmission lines which, when repaired, restored power to thousands of customers at a time.

Before Sandy made landfall, PPL warned it could result in outages lasting at least a week.

"We're sticking with that estimate, at least until we can do more damage assessment," utility spokesman Michael Wood said. "Many customers could be restored sooner, but we want people to be prepared for prolonged outages."

As of 8 p.m. Tuesday, 208,962 Lehigh Valley homes and businesses still were without electricity, according to PPL and Met-Ed. That comprised 106,805 in Lehigh County and 102,157 in Northampton County.

For Philadelphia-based Peco Energy, Sandy was the most damaging storm in the utility's history, knocking out power to 850,000 customers at the height of the storm Monday. By 2 p.m. Tuesday, 490,000 customers were still without service, including 180,000 in Bucks and 145,000 in Montgomery counties. The company says it may take a week to get all the power back on.

Met-Ed, which serves some of Lehigh and much of Northampton counties, had about 190,000 customers without power statewide, said spokesman Scott Surgeoner. By 8 p.m. Tuesday, electricity still had not been restored to 13,252 customers in Monroe County, 49,376 in Northampton County and 4,056 in Lehigh County.

The second-largest refinery on the East Coast has suffered flooding and a power outage, while two smaller plants also lost power, as glitches threaten to slow the recovery in fuel supplies. However, the region's biggest plant, in Philadelphia, and several others were ramping up operations after escaping damage.

This story was compiled from Morning Call staff reports and wire accounts.