01:08 - Source: CNN
Lights out and cold nights for Northeast

Story highlights

NEW: Northwest getting much-needed rain

Utility workers head to Pennsylvania to help restore power

Another system is forecast to bring snow to the region this weekend

But it's not expected to produce as many problems in the Northeast

Have you been affected by the latest snowstorm? Share your photos, videos with CNN iReport.

Philadelphia CNN  — 

Bob and Debbie Burns endured three dark and powerless days after Hurricane Sandy. When the lights went out this time – the result of a powerful winter storm– they were ready.

Utility companies scrambled Friday to restore power to the Northeast as hundreds of thousands shivered.

In Philadelphia alone, electric provider PECO said that at the peak of the outages midday Wednesday, more than 623,000 homes and businesses were without power.

In some areas, ice snapped tree limbs and downed power lines, causing massive blackouts.

In Philadelphia alone, electric provider PECO said early Friday that 319,000 homes and businesses were without power. In Pennsylvania’s Chester County, some traffic lights were powered by portable generators, CNN affiliate KFW reported.

The vast majority should get their power back by Friday, but for some, the wait could stretch to Sunday, spokeswoman Debbie Yemenijian told CNN.

Crews from Arkansas, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio and Canada have joined PECO’s workers to fix the damage, the company said. In all, more than 1,500 workers are in the field, it said.

In all, more than 1,500 workers were in the field, it said.

A similar number have been fielded in the Baltimore area, where some 45,000 homes and businesses remained without power early Thursday, utility Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said on Twitter.

Tens of thousands also remained without power elsewhere in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, with a handful of outages remaining in Ohio as well.

By Friday evening, more than 270,000 customers were still with power in the Mid-Atlantic states.

The wet, heavy snow was a delight for children who got a snow day, less so for everyone else.

“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, according to CNN meteorologists.

On the West Coast, much-needed rain and snow should continue through the weekend.

In Washington State, one person was killed and several others injured in a 28-car crash on Interstate 5 in Washington state after a new winter storm blew in off the Pacific, CNN affiliate KPTV reported.

Portland, Oregon, got 3.8 inches of snow on Thursday, the fifth-greatest February snowfall since 1940. Thursday was also the coldest day in February since 1989, with a high of 23 degrees.

A second round of snow is expected to fall Friday afternoon, according to KPTV.

The central United States will continue to deal with unusual cold, with wind chill warnings or advisories posted in more than a dozen states where highs are expected to be 20 to 40 degrees below average.

Snow showers from the Midwest to the Northeast were expected to drop 2 to 4 inches of snow from the Midwest to the Northeast over the weekend.

Cold air will hang on through the weekend, with highs 10 to 20 degreess below average. Another round of cold is expected to move Sunday into the Upper Midwest, with highs predicted at 30 degrees below average.

CNN’s Faith Karimi reported and wrote from Atlanta, and Margaret Conley reported from Philadelphia. CNN’s Rick Martin, Monica Garrett, Michael Pearson and Tom Watkins contributed to this report.