The Mountain Times

°F Thu, April 24, 2014

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GMP restores power; persistent power outages affected 33,000 customers

RUTLAND - Green Mountain Power restored power to more than 46,000 customers affected by the storm last week. By Friday, Sept. 13 at 12-noon, about 2,000 customers remained without power. This is the third largest storm of the past 12 months, after Super Storm Sandy and the December wind storm which each had 48,000 outages.

"While we have about 2,000 customers without power, we still have 280 separate incidents that need repair," said Dorothy Schnure, GMP spokesperson. "Each incident may take hours to remove fallen trees, reset a pole, and string line to bring back a handful of customers. We will continue this hard work non-stop until all our customers have their power restored."

Green Mountain Power said it expects most customers to have power restored late Friday night, but in some areas where the damage is extensive, particularly Windsor County, work will continue into Saturday.

Those areas where damage was extensive include Randolph, Windsor, Mt. Holly, Cavendish, Royalton, Tinmouth, Chester, Reading, Sharon and Bethel.

"We are seeing hundreds of separate incidents with trees on lines and broken poles," said Dorothy Schnure, GMP corporate spokesperson. "Each of these events needs a line crew and a tree crew, and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to make repairs to half a day or more if the damage is extensive."

An army of nearly 500 workers, including GMP lineworkers, GMP support staff, local tree trimming crews, and out-of-state contract crews worked to restore power. Crews from Burlington Electric Department, Stowe Electric Department and Swanton Electric Department also offered assistance as well as other utilities in New England.

"We know it is difficult to be without power for long periods of time," Schnure said. "We have put together a large contingent of workers to restore power as quickly as we can. Customers have been very supportive of the hard work these folks do, and we appreciate all the kind comments they make to our staff both in person and on our Facebook page."

Customers may report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672, visiting GMP's Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com or mobile enhanced at m.greenmountainpower.com, or by clicking the "Power Out?" button on GMP's Facebook site.

GMP offered several safety tips for coping with the outages:
STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES. Don't touch or even go near downed wires! These wires can be energized and can cause serious injuries or death. If the line is blocking the road or in contact with a vehicle with people inside, call your local police or fire emergency number first. Then call GMP. Instruct others to keep at least 50 feet away, and keep pets and livestock away as well.

Assume all objects touching the power line are also energized. Never attempt to remove trees or limbs from any utility lines! Notify GMP of the situation.

If using a generator, read and follow the owner's manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.

Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.

If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you'll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.