COHOES, N.Y. (AP) - Utility shutoffs are up in all or part of
dozens of states thanks to rising prices and a shaky economy.
Michigan, which has been especially hard-hit economically, is
seeing a 22 percent increase. In New York state, utilities are
reporting 17 percent more shutoffs than last year, affecting a
total of more than 230,000 residential customers through August.
Other states with increased shutoffs include Pennsylvania,
Florida and California.
With winter coming on and the economy still sinking, it's feared
the problem will only get worse. People who rely on heating oil are
pleading for relief from high fuel prices.
Congress recently approved a measure to nearly double the
federal money available to help poor people cope with home heating
costs. But advocates say it's unlikely to be enough.