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PGE: Worst-case scenario, some could be without power for 10 days

A spokesperson with PGE said most people won't have to wait long for power to be restored, but there may be some extreme scenarios that customers prepare for.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Editor's note: This story is no longer being updated. Click here for the latest power outage updates.

As wind and snow whipped through the Portland metro and surrounding areas, it knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, Portland General Electric was reporting more than 287,000 customers without power, and Pacific Power was reporting more than 32,000 customers without power.

More than 4,400 PGE power lines have been brought down by ice and tree limbs.

Steve Corson, a spokesperson with PGE said on Sunday that most people will not see long waits to have their power restored.

"We feel your pain, our crews are working as hard as they can," Corson said, adding that PGE has brought in crews from as far away as Nevada and Montana and had 120 crews working the event Sunday. "We're going to get that power back on as quickly as we can, but you have to bear with us this is a really difficult situation."

Corson said there could be extreme circumstances where people could experience extended outages for up to 10 days.

"I hate to say this, but for some customers, it could be as long as 10 days, before we've got everybody back on," Corson said. "That's an extreme situation, but we need people to be prepared for the potential for some extended outages."

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Saturday declared a state of emergency due to the severe weather and power outages.

"The state of emergency I declared on Saturday will ensure that all necessary state resources are available on the ground to help Oregonians impacted by this winter storm," Brown said.

For those without power, PGE offers the following tips:

  • Use caution with alternative light and heating sources to avoid unintentional fire from candles, harmful fumes from kerosene heaters used indoors without proper ventilation or deadly carbon monoxide from use of charcoal briquettes indoors.
  • Lock in home heat by tacking blankets over windows and doorways to keep the cold out and putting rolled towels at the bottom of doors to keep drafts out.
  • Save body heat by wearing loose layers of clothing to trap body heat; wearing a hat, even when sleeping; moving periodically to generate body heat and using blankets and a hot water bottle if feasible.
  • If you can safely do so, consider staying with a friend or family member who has power.
  • If you’re concerned for yourself, a family member or a neighbor, consider finding another location with power.
  • If you need emergency shelter or have other needs related to cold weather, please call 911. For customers whose power is out, please contact PGE if you haven’t already.

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