A state of emergency has been declared in the Willamette Valley due to the harsh winter weather that has hit the region over the past few days.

Gov. Kate Brown issued the order Saturday afternoon, citing high winds and accumulations of snow and ice in several counties, including Multnomah and Washington.

"The weather that set in yesterday and continued overnight has left extensive damage, with hundreds of thousands of Oregonians without power," Brown said in a statement. "Because of windstorms, utility crews were not able to safely start work on restoring power until this morning."

The executive order allows the state to activate its emergency operations plan in all affected areas and mobilize the Oregon National Guard and state police if necessary.

A blizzard warning was issued for the Columbia Gorge last night, and conditions caused the closure of the I-84 east.

Snow has largely stopped falling in the metro area, but the National Weather Service has extended a winter weather advisory until noon Sunday due to continued accumulations of ice.