LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon, USA (AP) – Thousands of people were left without power in the northwestern United States after a blizzard and snowstorm fell throughout the western region.
The most difficult area was Portland, Oregon, where more than 200,000 people were without electricity Saturday night. Officials warned that it would take a day or two, or perhaps longer, to restore service, and meteorologists predicted more adverse conditions in the coming days.
Due to weather conditions, power shortages and lack of transportation, Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency for the Portland metropolitan area Saturday afternoon.
“The work teams are out now, coordinating with disaster response agencies to reestablish communications where they are most needed, such as heating shelters,” Brown said in a statement.
“I give you my commitment to provide all the resources of the state to ensure that emergency staff have everything they need on the ground,” he said.
In recent times, strong winter storms and cold temperatures have rendered the homeless in the western United States, making the homeless particularly vulnerable.
Groups of volunteers were trying to protect homeless people in Casper, Wyoming, and the National Weather Service warned that temperatures could drop to minus 37 degrees Celsius (minus 35 degrees Fahrenheit). In the states of Washington and Oregon, officials have opened heating shelters to ensure that the homeless are protected from cold and snow.
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