NEW: About 578,000 in at least three states without power after snow, ice storm
NEW: Thousands of utility workers flood storm-damaged states to fix lines
"We're very content," suburban Philadelphia couple say despite no power
Central U.S. to remain cold, but next storm unlikely to cause major problems
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First came the whiteouts, then the blackouts.
Candles give a pleasant glow to their living room in Abington Township, Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia suburb. Burning logs in the fireplace give at least a little warmth.
They have hot water, and a gas stove to cook on – both products of their experience in the wake of Sandy – the 2012 hurricane that caused widespread damage and power outages up and down the Eastern Seaboard.
And they huddle under blankets and pass the time talking.
“We’re very content,” Bob Burns told CNN on Wednesday night. “It gives us more quality time to sit and talk.”
The couple are among an estimated 578,000 who remained without power early Thursday in the wake of Wednesday’s snow and ice storm, according to a CNN tally of outage figures provided by electric utilities.
A powerful snowstorm had moved Wednesday from the Midwest, arriving Thursday in the Northeast. It whacked a string of states along the way, dumping 13 inches of snow on Kansas, more than 10 inches on parts of Massachusetts and 4 inches on New York.
That number had fallen to about 431,000 Thursday afternoon, according to the company.
The vast majority of those who lost their power should see it restored Friday, though some may have to wait until Sunday, company spokeswoman Debbie Yemenijian said.
After all, it’s the second-most damaging storm in the company’s history, PECO said.
Utility crews from Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Canada joined PECO’s workers to fix the damage, the company said.
In the Baltimore area, about 19,000 homes and businesses remained without power early Friday, utility Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said on its website.
Tens of thousands more were without power elsewhere in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with a handful of outages remaining in Ohio as well.
The storm that caused all the problems moved out of the Midwest on Wednesday, bringing more than 10 inches of snow to Boston, 13 inches to other parts of Massachusetts and 4 inches of snow and a quarter-inch of ice to New York.
The wet, heavy snow may have pleased children who got a snow day, but some grownups were not applauding.
“Harder to push, not as easy actually to plow,” said Boston snowplow driver Nick Sfravara. “It’s definitely a challenge to get this stuff out of the way rather than the light stuff.”
Another system is forecast to bring snow to the region this weekend, but it’s not expected to produce as many problems, CNN meteorologists said.
San Francisco received nearly three quarters of an inch of rain on Thursday. Another several inches are expected in the inland valleys and 8 to 10 inches in the coastal mountains through the weekend, bringing the possibility of flooding.
Michael Pearson wrote and reported from Atlanta. Margaret Conley reported from Philadelphia. CNN’s Ed Payne, John Newsome, Greg Botelho and Tom Watkins contributed to this report.