PORTLAND — More than 150,000 remained without power in the greater Portland area Wednesday, Feb. 17, and authorities warned outages caused by a fierce weekend storm could continue for several more days.
The Seattle area saw more than a foot of snow and Western Oregon was hit with snow and ice that toppled more than 5,000 power lines. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for the greater Portland region.
Portland General Electric’s map of power outages listed about 150,000 customers without electricity, while Pacific Power listed about 6,000.
While temperatures have returned to seasonal norms in the Northwest some people in the Portland area have been without electricity for nearly a week.
Steve Corson, a spokesperson with PGE, said, “Right now we need people to be prepared for the fact that it could be several days yet” before power is restored.
Late Tuesday the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office confirmed four deaths over the weekend due to carbon monoxide poisoning. While authorities didn’t immediately provide any details about the deaths, they did urge people not to use alternative heat sources such as camp stoves or barbecues to stay warm.
Rob Hendrickson, medical director of the Oregon Poison Center, said the center took 19 calls about carbon monoxide poisoning during the weekend, as opposed to one they receive on a typical weekend.
“It is extremely important not to use outdoor grills or generators inside your home,” Hendrickson said in a statement. “These appliances should be used outdoors, well away from windows, doors and ventilation systems.”
Also late Tuesday, Brown said because of reports of price gouging at local hotels she declared an “abnormal market disruption” and issued an order empowering the attorney general to investigate.