Across the Midwest and up and down the East Coast, millions of people are living without power.
And they are not happy about it.
At least 1 million households remain without power in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio, the states hardest hit by the storm Friday night that packed 80-mph winds.
Residents are waiting for power in homes where the heat has risen to 90 degrees. Many have tossed away hundreds of dollars worth of food and sought shelter in hotels.
All the while, they seethe toward electric utility companies they say are taking way too long to make repairs and have not been responsive to their concerns. In Washington, D.C., there are calls to investigate how the local public utility responded to the emergency.
"All the people in my neighborhood are extremely frustrated," says David Scholl, a Bethesda, Md., lawyer who has been without power since Friday. He says Pepco, the electric company that provides service to his D.C. suburb, has been unresponsive.
He says the company provides conflicting information on its website and through its hotline. Over the course of five hours on Tuesday, he says the company went from reporting no outages in his neighborhood to two customers affected to 602 customers affected.
He says at least once a year he loses electricity for several days because of some weather event. And he doesn't understand why.
"Nobody holds Pepco accountable," he says. "This is business as usual."
Pepco says 96,000 people had no power on Tuesday. Pepco spokesman Clay Anderson says no one expected the storm's severity. The majority of Washington, D.C.-area customers are expected to have power by 11 p.m. Friday.
"This was not a storm where tree limbs just fell on our wires," Anderson says. "This was a storm where large mature trees were uprooted and lifted and just thrown into our poles - snapping our poles in half and wrapping our high-voltage wires around homes, businesses and cars."
Power companies that serve the Midwest and East Coast say they are working as quickly as possible, but repairing power lines and transmission stations takes time.
"When trees take down wires and poles come down, we have to physically replace the poles and put those wires back on those poles," Scott Surgeoner, a spokesman for FirstEnergy, which serves Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.
He says as many as five times the normal amount of the company's regular workers were out working on the restoration efforts. By Tuesday, 433,000 of the 566,000 FirstEnergy customers affected by the storms had their power back.
American Electric Power, which provides service for Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky, said 667,000 customers remained without power on Tuesday. That's down from 1.4 million after the storm, says spokeswoman Terri Flora.
She says most customers can expect to have their power back by this weekend. She says 306 transmission stations, which are mostly in fields or mountains and carry up to 785,000 volts of electricity to smaller stations that distribute electricity to communities, went down during the storm.
She counseled patience.
But customers say they are running out of it.
Jenna Hatfield, 31, of Cambridge, Ohio, has been without power since Friday. She, her husband, Josh, and their children, Nicholas, 6, and Parker, 4, were vacationing in North Carolina when the storms hit and drove home through a very dark West Virginia, she said.
Five days later, all the food in the refrigerator and freezer spoiled. She's heard she won't get power back until July 8.
"I'm very frustrated at this point," she says. "Nobody seems to think that we are a priority. I really don't think it should take over a week to restore power. Two to three days is an inconvenience. Over a week, you're messing with my livelihood."
Hatfield, editor for BlogHer.com, says she's had to take her children to work with her at a friend's house to get some air conditioning and do her job.
The family has a generator, which they use to plug in two fans, the refrigerator and a light at night.
She says American Electric Power needs to find another way to release information, other than online, because most affected people do not have access to the Internet.
Serena Golden, 25, of Washington, D.C., had power throughout the storm, but lost it Sunday night. She doesn't know why or when it will come back.
"I have so little information," says Golden, an associate editor at Inside Higher Ed. "It does make me mad because I feel like there's nothing I can do."
The Fourth of July holiday and the heat wave - when temperatures are expected to reach 99 degrees on Thursday - are making things worse, she says. There's also a looming rate increase from Pepco.
"It seems like if you want to charge even more money then you should provide even better service," she says.
While they wait, Golden and her three housemates avoid the upstairs rooms.
"None of us has been able to sleep because it's so hot," Golden said. "My housemates are really upset and angry - we're all pretty unhappy."
In D.C., Councilwoman Mary Cheh says she plans to ask the council's public services and consumer affairs committee as well as the district's public service commission, which oversees Pepco, to launch an investigation into how Pepco handled the storm-recovery efforts.
Cheh, who was without power for days after the storm, said she's received e-mails from frustrated residents. She said she wants to look into the company's response time during power outages, whether Pepco has enough staff and how it handles communications during emergencies.
"All we have is Pepco's generalities about the kind of job they did," says Cheh, who along with other council members met with Pepco on Tuesday. "I want something more in depth and reliable."
Relatives of seniors Jean and Ray Fitzgerald are boiling over Pepco's response. Anita Henck, of Los Angeles, and her son, Andrew, have scoured information online and called the utility's phone line every day to find out when her parents, who live in Bethesda, Md., will have their power restored.
It took the company three days to even post that a power outage occurred in Fitzgerald's neighborhood.
"Pepco's record of poor service is legendary," Anita Henck says. "But their lack of service for the elderly is disheartening."
Jean Fitzgerald is 79 and has breast cancer. She just started radiation therapy. Ray is 81. The temperature in their home reached 86 degrees in recent days. If it gets hotter, the couple will find a hotel, says Jean Fitzgerald.
A Depression-era baby born in the South and raised on a farm, Jean Fitzgerald says they are managing - for now.
"I don't want to live like this for many months," she says. "We have to be patient in this kind of thing and I know that, but sometimes patience wears thin."
By Marisol Bello and Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY