By Syma Chowdhry

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PECO crews are working to restore power to thousands in the area, including in Montgomery County.

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Governor Tom Corbett toured an area in Blue Bell Thursday morning after President Obama signed off on his request to declare a state of emergency.

At its peak, nearly 850,000 people were without power.

It’s PECO’s second worst disaster next to Sandy.

“Almost as equals what you had in Sandy, which was quite a longer event that took place.  It’s complicated by the snow and the cold,” Corbett said.

There will be a third more people here to help with the cleanup than there was after Sandy.

The crews are coming from all over the country.

After being briefed by PECO officials, the governor held a press conference, saying different priorities will determine response time.

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The governor said, “A number of different hospitals, you are looking at nursing homes. You are looking at the grid itself of communications, the water and sewer.”

PECO’s emergency operations center in Plymouth Meeting has been acting as a 24-hour dispatch hub.

PECO Spokesperson Ben Armstrong said, “We’ve been working around the clock since Monday as we responded to that storm. We are working around the clock to restore service as part of this storm as well.”

Corbett said the state will be getting assistance from FEMA??.

He reiterates safety is the number one priority and to seek a shelter if you don’t have any power.

“Staying at home at this point and trying to heat with alternative sources, it can be dangerous.”

PECO officials hope to restore power to most of its customers by Friday night, but it could take longer.  They tell CBS3, they expect all customers to be back on the grid by Sunday night.

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