The Mountain Times

°F Wed, April 23, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Amazing Progress at Power Restoration

Amazing progress made, more expected today
Isolated towns reached; power restored to many
Less than 5,900 without power, but much hard work remains

Central Vermont Public Service crews made extraordinary progress Wednesday, and less than 5,900 customer outages are left to restore.

"We made amazing progress yesterday, and we expect to make more great progress today. This is an extraordinary effort, and the system has come together much quicker than I think any of us expected," said Joe Kraus, senior vice president of engineering, operations and customer service. "We know much hard work remains, as we're going into areas we've hardly seen yet due to closed roads, but we are prepared to do whatever it takes to wrap this up as soon as we can. Much of it will be done by this weekend."

As of 7 a.m., more than 67,000 of the 73,000-plus customer outages have been restored. Outages remain in Windsor, Windham and Orange counties. Rutland County customers who can take service were restored Wednesday night. CVPS continued to caution that complete restoration remains dependent on road access.

Many customers throughout the state also have flooding damage to their homes. If a customer's home or business was flooded, and their electric service panel was affected by water, it has to be examined by a qualified electrician before CVPS can restore service.

Power was restored to Killington, Mt. Holly, Shrewsbury and Mendon Wednesday evening.

In Rutland City, CVPS workers continued work with inspectors to look at electrical panels with electricians in the Baxter, Cleveland, School and Meadow street areas.

Crews made great progress in Northfield, Roxbury, Stockbridge and Pittsfield last night, and hope to wrap up most of the remaining work in those areas today. Dozens of poles had to be set, and many lines were rerouted or built in new places to restore power to customers. Some customers in that area are still inaccessible due to road washouts.

A portable substation was delivered to Rochester last night to restore power to residents more quickly while crews work to rebuild the Rochester Substation, the heart of the local grid. The portable sub should be energized today, and many Rochester, Hancock and Granville customers should be restored today, barring any unforeseen problems.

Power was restored to most of Chester, Landgrove, Grafton and much of Weston last night. Crews have numerous poles left to set in the Cavendish area. Crews hope to have the majority of customers in those areas back on by Friday or Saturday.

Crews in Windham County continued work to build a new 1,000-foot temporary line to get power to East Dover village, which they hope to complete today.

Crews are bringing seven buckets, three diggers, and several track vehicles to the Wardsboro and Jamaica areas today to work to restore service to the 880 customers who have been isolated and without power since Hurricane Irene hit. They have fives poles to set, crossarms and lines to put up, and materials ready to go.

Access to the Wardsboro and Jamaica area on Route 100 between Route 30 and Wardsboro village was cut off until yesterday. Tree workers were in the area yesterday to clear trees in anticipation of line crews moving in today. Again, many local roads remain inaccessible to utility crews.

Crews will be moving into the South Newfane area today with all-terrain vehicles and four-wheelers, but access via bucket truck is not yet available, and crews will be looking for ways to get trucks into that area. A three-phase line was downed in that area during the storm, and crews report a house is in the road where the road used to be.

Collaboration with local and state Agency of Transportation officials continues, as many roads continue to open up to emergency and utility vehicles.

Crews and support staff have been working 18- and 20-hour shifts since before the storm began, and will continue to do so until the restoration work is done. 

CVPS urged Vermonters to use extra caution around waterways, many of which are still flowing at very high levels.

Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: http://www.cvps.com/CustomerService/outages/ and http://vtoutages.com/

Tagged: power, CVPS