Northwest struggles after storm

More than 100,000 people remain without power in the Pacific Northwest after Friday's powerful wind storms.

BY HEATHER MOYER | SEATTLE, Wash. | December 19, 2006


More than 100,000 people remain without power in the Pacific Northwest after Friday's powerful wind storms. Officials continued warning residents about carbon monoxide poisoning after many reports of the sickness.

The Washington governor's office reports more than 1,000 people have been seen at hospital emergency rooms with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning over the past four days.

The state says many of the cases are due to people using charcoal briquettes indoors for heating and cooking purposes. Generators can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning if used indoors.

"I urge all Washingtonians to stay safe and take care of themselves and their families as we dig out from the most recent storm," said Wash. Gov. Chris Gregoire. "You can help by checking in with friends and neighbors to share this information and make sure they are okay."

Last week's storm killed four people in Washington and Oregon as it dumped heavy rain and snow across both states. Wind gusts of between 60 and 120 miles per hour were reported in some areas, downing trees and power lines.

Crews are still restoring power to many residents, with Puget Sound Energy releasing a statement calling the damage to its system "unprecedented." According to the release, "In many hard-hit areas, our crews are having to rebuild the system from the substation to customers' doors - after downed trees and debris are cleared away. Crews now have successfully repaired the core backbone of the system."

At one point during the storm, more than 1 million people were without power.

Shelters remain open in both states, with many seeking refuge due to the lack of power in their homes.


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