Marvin Payne, center, of Pasadena Public Works cuts up a toppled fig tree on Green Street on Friday. Pasadena officials said services were returning to normal and most homes had regained power by Friday. (Sarah Reingewirtz / Staff Photographer)

San Gabriel Valley communities Friday began working to restore key infrastructure in the wake of a fierce windstorm that damaged hundreds of homes, snapped thousands of trees and left neighborhoods in the dark.

Damage estimates are expected to be in the millions of dollars, officials said.

With the worst of the storm behind them, county, city and Edison crews tackled an immense workload while their bosses asked residents to be patient.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Mike Eng, D-Alhambra, called on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare the region a disaster area - which could qualify area cities and the county for state reimbursement of cleanup costs.

Despite thousands of toppled and damaged trees, most major roads had been cleared, and Edison had restored power to more than half of the quarter-million customers cut off at the height of the crisis early Thursday morning.

"There's been fairly extensive damage countywide," Los Angeles Department of Public Works spokesman Bob Spencer said. "It's way too early, until we actually finish and get all damage assessment, add personnel and equipment costs, but (damage) will range in the millions."

Gil Alexander, spokesman for Southern California Edison, offered a visual guide.

"If you ran a finger across the map from the Pasadena area in the west to the city of San Bernardino in the east your finger would cross over all the hardest-hit communities during the last 48 hours," Alexander said.

Edison doesn't serve Pasadena - where city officials reported power had been restored to all but 500 electric customers Friday - but Alexander noted downed lines in South Pasadena, Arcadia, San Gabriel, San Marino, Monrovia, Montebello, West Covina, Temple City, Sierra Madre and Duarte.

"Despite some continued challenges, Pasadena is returning to normal," City Manager Michael Beck said in a prepared statement. "City resources will remain devoted to restoring services, parks and parkways to the high standards our community expects and deserves."

City spokeswoman Ann Erdman said removal of trees that are not in the public right of way is the responsibility of private property owners.

Trash service in Pasadena also resumed Friday. Residents who would have had Thursday service will have their trash, yard waste and recycling picked up on Saturday, Erdman said.

On the drive to Sierra Madre - where residents crowded into the handful of cafes running on back-up generators to charge their phones and tap wireless networks - sidewalks framing Baldwin Avenue remained carpeted in green.

A crew of 75 city workers and volunteers helped, but the process has been slow and cracked trunks still line the side streets with toppled trees decorating nearly every front yard.

"We are mostly working during the daylight hours because of the lack of power," Sierra Madre spokesman Michael Hernandez said, adding that City Hall is running on backup power from a generator.

Sierra Madre and Arcadia each counted seven red-tagged homes, while Monrovia had 23 damaged fences and 29 damaged structures but no red tags.

Monrovia also reported more than 250 downed trees and 29 damaged buildings.

The main problem, said Monrovia City Manager Scott Ochoa, remained restoring power to all areas of the city.

Temple City was also hard-hit. Water was running at low pressure, and 75 percent of residents remained without power - a situation city spokesman Brian Hayworth said he expected would not be remedied until Sunday.

Edison drew on all available contractors to work around the clock, while the county pulled personnel from other divisions like Flood Control to help Pasadena and Sierra Madre clear trees and debris.

Each counted several hundred crews in the field.

Some smaller cities like South Pasadena called on private contractors for help.

Most said it was premature to tally how much the overtime, equipment and specialists would cost when the job is done.

Monrovia put early damage estimates between $3 million and $4 million, while cities such as Azusa and West Covina put estimates much lower - at $120,000 and $10,000, respectively.

As for a timeline, Edison's Alexander described electric service restoration as "a more complex process than one might think" and did not offer an estimate.

"We're moving as rapidly as we can, but this is a complex process where the single most important feature is not getting lights back on - it's staying safe. Not just crews, but neighborhoods and customers themselves."

L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich announced the county will partner with private contractors to provide drop-off disposal for residents of unincorporated community who are clearing fallen trees and debris from their property.

Free drop-off events will be held today and Sunday in Altadena, and today and the following Saturday in Duarte. For more information, residents can call the county's trash collection hotline at 800-993-5844.