NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) – Two-thirds of New Jersey residents were affected by Superstorm Sandy and about one in five of them had to leave their homes, a new poll has found.

The Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Tuesday also found surprising support for power companies that were under scrutiny after receiving strong criticism for lengthy power outages last year from Tropical Storm Irene.

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Overall, 61 percent of New Jerseyans reported power losses and 40 percent said they were without electricity for more than five days.

“We already knew Sandy had a wide impact,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers. “What we get from these numbers is a clearer sense of its disruptive effects on nearly all New Jerseyans, whether near the shore or much further inland.”

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Despite the widespread and lengthy power outages, about 75 percent of those affected said their electric company handled the crisis very well or somewhat well. Relief efforts by the Red Cross received similar marks.

About 68 percent of respondents gave favorable marks to FEMA, though only about 10 percent of people polled said they had used the services of the disaster-assistance agency.

The poll surveyed 1,228 adults from November 14-17 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

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