More than 21,000 utility customers remain without power this morning in the Philadelphia area, as New Jersey continues to struggle with massive outage totals.

In the Philadelphia area, hard-hit Bucks County is taking the longest to recover, with more than 12,000 outages remaining, among Peco (8,000), Met Ed (3,000) and PPL Electric (1,300) customers.

Burlington County has about 4,000 homes and businesses still in the dark, mostly with PSE&G, while Montgomery County has about 3,500, about 3,000 of them Peco customers. Camden County had another 2,000 PSE&G customers out.

In all, Peco had about 12,000 outages this morning, with only scattered ones remaining in Philadelphia and Chester and Delaware Counties.

"We expect to have most of these customers back on today, with some customers into tomorrow, and a handful on Wednesday, which are mostly single-customer jobs," said Peco spokesman Ben Armstrong.

"Very few of the jobs we have remaining are quick fixes," he said. "... Many of these jobs involve multiple poles down, tree work, replacement of hundreds of feet of wire, and broken or damaged utility equipment."

Statewide, Pennsylvania's total was down today to about 32,000 - from more than 1.2 million that lost power, including 850,000 Peco customers, all because of superstorm Sandy, which made landfall at the Jersey Shore last Monday night, then swept across South Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Hard-hit Lehigh and Northampton Counties were down to about 7,000 this morning, mostly in Northampton County, according to PPL and Met Ed.

Statewide, the Garden State had nearly three-quarters of a million customers still in the dark this morning, mainly along the northern part of the Shore and in North Jersey, the areas hardest hit last Monday by Sandy's hurricane-force winds and storm surges. In all, more than 2.7 million Jersey homes and businesses lost power.

This morning, PSE&G had about 375,000 customers still out. So did Jersey Central Power & Light, with more than half in two coastal counties, Ocean and Monmouth.

To motivate people to be fully prepared, PSE&G is saying only that service should be back by Friday, while adding that most customers will be restored before then.

On the bright side, Atlantic City Electric has almost completely recovered - with only about 500 still out, almost all of them in Atlantic County.

Delamarva Power & Light was reporting only about 100 customers off its grid this morning.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or