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Snow, ice cut power to 254,000 in Washington

Branches, heavy from snow, lay on a house after falling off in Rochester, Washington
Branches, heavy from snow, lay on a house after falling off in Rochester, Washington

(Reuters) - Puget Sound Energy said a severe snow and ice storm left 254,000 customers without power at mid-day Friday and restoration work will continue into the weekend.

The Bellevue, Washington-based utility said three helicopters were being used to inspect 250 miles of transmission lines for possible storm damage.

Since early Wednesday when the winter storm moved into the company's territory, power has been restored to more than 138,000 customers in western Washington, Puget Sound (PSE) said in a statement.

PSE said more crews will arrive on Saturday, but ice-laden trees will continue to fall and high winds are forecast in the region, increasing the likelihood that outage numbers will rise. Restoration work is expected to last into the weekend.

(Reporting by Eileen O'Grady in Houston; Editing by David Gregorio)

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