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GMP Prepares for Arrival of Damaging Winds

20 December 2012

 
COLCHESTER, VT…Green Mountain Power storm managers, line crews and support staff are making final preparations this evening as a winter storm marches across the Midwest.  Winds in excess of 50 mph have been forecast for early Friday morning arriving in the southeastern corner of the state as early as 5 a.m.

“Operations managers began their preparation Wednesday morning once the forecast started taking shape,” GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said.  “Nearly 40 contract line workers will join forces with GMP lineworkers and tree crews to ensure we have plenty of resources for this event.”

The latest weather forecasts suggest the storm will begin to affect southern Vermont by daylight Friday morning and work its way north by 9 a.m., with winds in excess of 50 mph in higher elevations along the western slopes of the Green Mountains.  Forecasters say snow will quickly turn to rain.  As the storm winds down rain will once again turn back to snow with accumulations totaling up to 6 inches.

“This storm has potential to cause widespread outages” Baker said.  “We have made extensive preparations, and we’re ready to respond if damage begins to unfold.”

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.



 Contact: Jeremy Baker, Green Mountain Power, (802) 770-4132