SPOKANE, Wash. —It’s been cold, dark and boring.

Nearly 20,000 households in Spokane – Washington’s second-largest city – were surviving Tuesday after almost a week without heaters, lamps and TV screens because howling winds ripped apart power lines, trees and the electrical grid.

Gov. Jay Inslee visited Spokane to inspect damage from the worst windstorm in the region’s history, promising to explore whether Spokane County qualifies for federal disaster assistance.

The storm Nov. 17 packed gusts up to 70 mph that cracked trees and sent them crashing onto cars, killing three people in the state.

More than 180,000 customers lost power at the storm’s peak, and those still in the dark face a freezing forecast as Thanksgiving approaches.

“This has been a very long and very, very tough week for Spokane County,” Inslee said after being briefed by local leaders.

Mayor David Condon said about 200 people were using city emergency shelters each night, but most people still without power were staying with family, friends or in hotels.