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Pacific Northwest a mess after winds, storm

A Pacific Northwest storm that brought snow, ice and powerful winds left a mess of fallen trees and power lines Friday as tens of thousands of residents already without power faced the prospect of a cold, dark weekend and flooding became a top concern.

While temperatures warmed and the icy, snowy conditions abated in western Washington and Oregon, slick roads and fast-melting snow brought challenges for road workers, city officials and rescue crews.

The region also faces more rain as swelling rivers led to the worst flooding some Oregon counties have seen in more than a decade.

"It's definitely a trial we get to endure," said Jeanette Donigan, whose Turner, Ore., home was surrounded by floodwater, leaving her and her family to seek shelter nearby. "But earthly possessions can be replaced, as long as we got our children to higher ground."

The storm system has been blamed for three deaths. A mother and her 1-year-old boy died after torrential rain swept away a car from a grocery store parking lot Wednesday night in Albany, Ore., and an elderly man was fatally injured Thursday by a falling tree as he was backing an all-terrain vehicle out of a backyard shed near Seattle.

On Mount Rainier, a blizzard prevented rescuers from continuing a search Friday for two campers and two climbers missing in the storm since early this week.

Meanwhile, the system continued to move east, bringing the first major snowstorm for the winter to parts of the Midwest. More than 700 flights were canceled in Chicago, the bulk of them at O'Hare International Airport.

The rain in western Oregon resumed Friday, though not as heavily as the previous two days. Forecasters said the Northwest can expect more rain, mountain snow and winds for a week.

In Seattle, residents were asked for help clearing the city's 80,000 storm drains.

Puget Sound Energy used three helicopters Friday to check its transmission lines as crews repair damage from Thursday's ice storm. About 240,000 people were without power Friday, mostly around Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia. New outages were still being reported Friday. The utility said it could take into the weekend or later to get the power back on.

Much of Washington's capital city, Olympia, was without power.

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