Severe thunderstorms cause power outages

-A A +A

Severe thunderstorms cause power outages

Wed, 07/09/2014 - 8:55am -- tim

In the 18 hours since the latest storm hit Tuesday night, GMP crews, accompanied by more 200 additional lineworkers and tree trimmers, have restored power to more than 32,000 customers. Crews worked around the clock to cut trees from lines, set new poles, strung new lines and get power back quickly to customers.

“Fast restoration like this can only be done with a dedicated and highly trained team and advance planning, ” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP spokesperson. “We had our crews in place and lined up extra workers in advance of the storm in an effort to respond quickly as soon as outages began. This has allowed us to restore power quickly and also ensure that the public and our crews remain safe.” 

The most recent storms that occurred last evening hit all across Vermont from Leicester to Bristol to Danville and Cabot By mid-afternoon today, 1,300 GMP customers remained without power, largely in the hardest hit areas of Middlebury and St. Johnsbury. Crews will continue work until all power is restored, likely late tonight.

This is the second major storm in a week. Green Mountain Power restored power to 37,000 customers over the Fourth of July weekend following a severe wind and rain storm. The Company estimates that almost 30 percent of its customers have experienced an outage in the past week alone. Summer storms with high winds, rain and lightning cause some of the most significant outages the utility sees each year.

Meanwhile, power has been restored to about 1,900 Vermont Electric Cooperative (VEC) members since severe thunderstorms barreled through its ervice terriroty in north-central Vermont late Tuesday evening. Early Wednesday morning about 575 members were awaiting power restoration by line and tree crews that have been working throughout the night. Full restoration is expected by noon.

At 6:30 am, VEC members in the following towns were without power: Albany, Berkshire, Charleston, Coventry, Derby, Holland, Irasburg, Lemington, Morgan and Richmond.

Other towns that experienced outages earlier during this event include: Bakersfield, Barton, Brownington, Cambridge, Fairfax, Fairfield, Georgia, Grand Isle, Guildhall, Hinesburg, Jay, Lowell, Maidstone, Montgomery,  Newport Town, Richford, Swanton,  Sheldon, Troy, Underhill, and Westfield.

“We brought in additional lineworkers and tree trimmers ahead of the storm and so we have an extensive workforce helping us, with more fresh crews arriving this morning,” said Kristin Carlson, GMP spokesperson. “The most severe damage was in Washington and Addison Counties, where restoration will continue into this evening. We hope to restore power to other areas by noon. ”

This is the second major storm in a week. Green Mountain Power restored power to 37,000 customers over the Fourth of July weekend following a severe wind and rain storm. Summer storms with high winds, rain and lightning cause some of the most significant outages the utility sees each year.

“We want to thank our customers for their tremendous support they’ve shown during this past week of very wild summer weather,” said Carlson. “We have a lot of clean up ahead and our crews are committed to getting everyone back online as soon as we can today.”

GMP is offering new ways for the public to stay informed during weather events like this. Customers may sign up for text service to report outages and get updates. Simply text REG to 46788 or GMPVT, or sign up online at greenmountainpower.com/textalerts. Customer account number is necessary for the initial sign up. As always, customers may report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672, or visiting GMP’s Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com.

With the summer storm season here, GMP offered the following safety advice:

·       GMP encourages the public to stay safe and report downed power lines and outages by calling 888-835-4672. Contact your local first responders to report emergencies.

·       If you have a cell phone, make sure it is charged so you can make calls in an emergency.

·       If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting it.  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.

For more information please visit our website at www.vermontelectric.coop/outage.