GMP Crews Respond to Intense Storm

11 September 2013

Work to continue through the night and Thursday
Rutland, VT…An intense lightning and wind storm swept through Vermont this evening, cutting power to thousands of homes and businesses across the state, with most damage concentrated in southern Vermont.  Heavy rains, high winds and lightning knocked down trees, poles and wires across the region, causing more than 20,000 customers to lose power by 10 pm.
“Early reports show that there are many downed trees, broken poles and wires on the ground,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP spokesperson. “We are still experiencing damaging weather and expect more outages to occur throughout the night.”
More than 100 GMP crews will be working through the night, assisted by tree trimming crews and GMP support staff. Dozens of additional contract crews from out of state are on their way to help and restoration efforts will continue through Thursday. 
“We remind the public that they should stay away from any downed power lines,” said Schnure. “A downed line may still be energized and contact could be fatal. Keep children and pets away from any trees that could have lines tangled in them.”
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. 

 Dorothy Schnure, Corporate Spokesperson, 802-324-4418 (cell)