MANCHESTER, N.H. - Mild weather yesterday melted ice on trees and soothed the nerves of Northeast residents who have gone without power since a Friday ice storm.

Utility crews from as far as South Carolina worked through the weekend to turn on the lights - and, more important, power to furnaces and wells - to New Hampshire customers, leaving 168,000 still without electricity.

In Portland, Maine, the city hit a record high for the day at 56 degrees yesterday, even as Central Maine Power said about 30,000 homes and businesses were still in the dark. A spokesman said it expected to have power restored tomorrow.

About 77,000 customers in eastern New York state still lacked power.