GMP Prepares for Period of Intense Weather; Outages Expected

25 June 2013

COLCHESTER, VT....Green Mountain Power is prepared for several days of severe weather that are expected to cause outages across the state. 
As intense storms approach the region, Green Mountain Power warns of the possibility of significant power outages this evening and throughout the week, along with the potential of flooding. 
“The combination of weather conditions tonight is likely to cause significant outages in the region,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP corporate spokesperson. “High winds, soggy ground and very intense lightning all bring the threat of widespread outages over the next few days as trees topple over, branches blow into lines and lightning strikes equipment.” 
GMP is scheduling staff and contract crews to be available to throw a massive effort at any outages, yet have fresh crews available when the next day’s storm hits. 
“Because we serve nearly three-quarters of the state, we can bring in staff from other parts of the state to reinforce local crews in areas that are hit hard. That enables us to restore power faster than ever,” said Schnure.
Safety is always a top priority during summer storms. GMP cautions people to stay away from any downed lines or lines tangled in trees as they may be energized and dangerous.  Green Mountain Power also observed that it has seen an increase in lightning activity and pointed out the dangers of being outdoors when lightning is present.
“Most importantly, we want our customers and employees to be safe. We urge people to stay indoors when lightning is present, and if they see lines down to keep people away and to call GMP,” Schnure added.
The company is drawing down water reservoirs in anticipation of heavy rains, and noted that weather forecasts highlight the potential for flooding through the end of the week.  “Vermonters should be cautious around any waterways over the next several days, and should stay tuned to local radio stations for updated forecasts,” Schnure said. 
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. 

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small utility in America.   

Dorothy Schnure, Corporate Spokesperson 
Work: (802) 655-8418; Cell (802) 324-4418