Three days after Hurricane Sandy, number without power drops to 7,000

Utility companies whittled down the number of customers without power to 7,000 late this afternoon, nearing their goal of full restoration three days after Hurricane Sandy sideswiped Massachusetts.

As of 5 p.m., National Grid reported about 3,000 outages across the Bay State. NStar reported about 4,000, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said. The number of customers without power had climbed to 387,000 on Monday night as Sandy, the “superstorm” that hammered New York and New Jersey, raked the Bay State with high winds and heavy seas.

“As the large area outages have been restored, crews are now focusing on the smaller pockets of customers often impacted by heavy tree conditions,” NStar spokeswoman Caroline Pretyman said.

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National Grid has said it expected to complete repairs by Friday.

Governor Deval Patrick has said his administration is watching how efficiently utilities repair storm damage. Some companies faced multimillion-dollar fines for flawed responses to two major storms last year.