storm aftermath

The Associated Press

The images are everywhere: whole sections of lower-Manhattan dark, the electric grid blown out by Hurricane Sandy.

It shouldn’t be that way, say some northwest technology experts, who want to see the modernization of our electric utilities. Their answer? Something called the “smart grid."

With life returning to normal across much of Puget Sound, at least 24,000 homes were still without power as of 11 o'clock this morning. Puget Sound Energy has the largest number of outages and predicts it will have nearly all its customers restored by Wednesday evening.

The clean-up job is still daunting, and it's affecting some schools and college campuses.

A veteran Washington State Department of Transportation worker has died after being hit by a falling tree during Sunday night's rain storm.  Maintenance Superintendent Jim McBride said the worker was setting up safety cones to alert motorists to downed power lines when the tree fell on his truck and killed him on Highway 203 just south of Carnation. 

Department spokeswoman Kris Olsen identified the man as 66-year-old Billy Rhynalds, a 12-year veteran of the department.

Twitter/@JoshFarley

Updated 5:30 am, Wed.

More than 39,000 Puget Sound Energy customers are still without power after Monday's snow and winds toppled main transmission lines. PSE reports  most were in Kitsap County. That's where main transmission lines were brought down by trees and strong winds.