GMP Ready as Damaging Winds Take Aim at State

30 January 2013

RUTLAND, VT... Green Mountain Power storm managers, line workers and support staff are making final preparations late today as a winter wind storm makes its way to Vermont.  Damaging winds in excess of 50 mph have been forecast for higher elevations along the spine of the Green Mountains beginning this evening and continuing into tomorrow.
GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said that GMP line workers will be supplemented by more than 20 contract line workers and tree trimmers.  “We’re dispatching crews to the areas where the winds are expected to hit first in order to be able to restore service as quickly as possible.”   
The latest weather forecast indicates damaging winds will begin to affect higher elevations late tonight in Bennington and Windham County, potentially working its way to the valley floors early Thursday morning.  
A second wind event will enter Vermont around daybreak Thursday becoming more wide spread across the state.  Forecasters predict in addition to the damaging winds, moderate to heavy rains in excess of one inch arriving late today and overnight will likely mean some flooding and break up of ice jams.
Customers can report an outage at www.greenmountainpower.com on their computer or mobile device, or they can call 1-888-835- 4672.  The company has added a “Power Out” button on its Facebook page that allows customers another way to report an outage. 

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

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