Power is slowly starting to come back to thousands of Douglas County residents, many who have been without power for nearly a week after the biggest snowstorm in decades decimated the county’s power infrastructure.

But the people who still don’t have it shouldn’t expect it back for at least another couple of days, said Todd Munsey, a spokesman for Douglas Electric Cooperative on Friday morning.

Munsey said access to damaged infrastructure, in a county with more than 2,000 square miles of rural service area, continues to be a limiting factor to utility crews working to restore power. Some rural roads are still blocked by snow and downed trees, and many power lines pass through forested areas.

Crews are also limited by how fast they can receive resources to replace damaged power lines.

“Wire and replacement poles have been arriving almost as fast as they have been leaving the yard,” Munsey said Thursday night.

Feeding and housing crews, some working shifts longer than a day and a half, remains a challenge for the company.

The scale of the damage has been alarming to the utility companies, who maintain the power won’t be fully restored in the most rural areas for at least another few days or a week.

Almost 5,000 Pacific Power customers in Douglas County and more than 6,000 Douglas Electric customers are still without power as of Friday morning. People without power are concentrated in areas in North County and areas east and west of Roseburg.

Munsey was glad to see Gov. Kate Brown’s emergency declaration Thursday will bring additional state and federal funding to help the expensive process of repairing the damage.

The county declared a state of emergency on Wednesday.

Max Egener can be reached at megener@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4217. Or follow him on Twitter @maxegener.

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City Reporter

Max Egener is the city reporter for The News-Review. He has a master's degree from the University of Oregon, and is an avid skier and backpacker.

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