Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents living without lights and heat since Saturday will have to wait a bit longer.

Governor Chris Christie declared a state of emergency following the surprise snowstorm and says utility companies have assured him they think they'll reach their goal of restoring power to 95 percent of their customers by late Thursday.

At least 250,000 are still without power. The problems started when the storm dumped heavy wet snow on trees that were still covered with leaves, snapping limbs and knocking down power transmission lines.

Crews have been brought in from the South and Southeast to clear downed trees and rewire neighborhoods while people are left to cope with cold dark homes and food spoiling in their refrigerators.

Ted Delilla of Fort Lee says, "Life has been tough following the storm. Thursday is a long way away."