GMP Mobilizes for Blizzard

26 December 2012

News Release
Contact: Jeremy Baker, Green Mountain Power, (802) 770-4132
For immediate release: December 26, 2012 4:00 p.m.
GMP mobilizes for Winter Storm Euclid
Blizzard closes in on Region

RUTLAND, VT...Days after restoring power to more than 34,000 customers, Green Mountain Power storm managers, line workers and support staff are making final preparations today as a second winter storm in less than a week makes its way to Vermont. Winds approaching 50 mph have been forecast for the western slopes of the Green Mountains along the Route 7 corridor from the Massachusetts border to southern Rutland County arriving overnight tonight.
“Preparation began with a conference call Christmas Day once the forecast started taking shape,” GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said. “Several line workers and assessment teams from the northern areas of our company traveled to Wilmington and Brattleboro this afternoon ahead of the storm. Nearly 40 contract line workers from as far away as Ontario will join forces with GMP lineworkers and tree trimmers to ensure we have plenty of resources for this event.”
The latest weather forecast suggests the storm will begin to affect southwestern Vermont by 9 p.m. tonight and work its way north exiting the state by 7 a.m. Friday morning. Forecasters say in addition to the damaging winds, snow accumulations could reach 8 to 14” depending on elevation. This snow could mix with freezing rain along the Massachusetts border causing tree and limb damage taking down power lines.
GMP has enhanced its current outage reporting options.  The company has added a “Power Out” button on its Facebook page that allows customers an additional avenue to report an outage.  “We encourage our customers to use whatever method is most convenient for them. They can still call 1-888-835-4672 to report an outage; however, we have made it as easy as possible for our customers to provide us with their information via the web, their mobile phones, or Facebook,” Baker said.

GMP offered the following safety advice:
·         Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
·         Fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.
·         Treat any downed line as if it is live.  Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.
·         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.
·         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.
·         Never use grills inside garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.
Customers may report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672, visiting GMP’s Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com or by clicking the “Power Out?” button on GMP’s Facebook site.