GMP keeping up with ice storm outages

22 December 2013

Most customers expected to be restored late tonight if additional outages do not occur

Green Mountain Power’s preparation for the ice storm has helped it keep up with outages that ramped up this morning. As of 3:00 p.m. Sunday, crews had restored power to 16,000 customers, while 3,000 remain without power.
“The ice storm affected northwestern Vermont most severely, as we expected, but we also had some outages in southern Vermont,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP corporate spokesperson. “Our strategy of keeping workers in locations across the state but focusing them in northwestern Vermont has paid off in that we have been keeping up with power restoration throughout the morning and early afternoon.”

Green Mountain Power’s storm preparation included activating its workforce as well as bringing in out-of-state contract line workers and tree crews. “Our experience shows that having an intense response right up front is the best, most cost-effective way to restore power quickly,” said Schnure. “In fact, during this event the average outage lasted only two and a half hours.”

 “Predicting an ice storm is very difficult and we’ve prepared for the worst predictions. We’re hopeful at this point that we will be able to restore power to the vast majority of our customers by late tonight with just a few remaining out into the morning.”

As the weather warms, ice will unload from trees, often causing additional outages when the branches pop back up. As a result, Green Mountain Power is experiencing new outages, but is hopeful that they will not be extensive.

As power is restored to Green Mountain Power customers, the utility said it has released some of its crews to help other utilities in Vermont in their restoration efforts.

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 the following safety advice to prepare for possible extended outages:
· Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
· Be sure to charge up your cell phone in advance of the storm.
· If you have a well, 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 electric utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away.
· 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.
· 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.
· Never use grills inside garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.
· For other tips on planning for a winter storm, visit the Vermont Emergency Management at http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/hazards/winter

About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (www.greenmountainpower.com) generates, transmits, distributes and sells electricity in the state of Vermont. The company, which was named 2013 Utility of the Year by the Solar Electric Power Association, serves more than 250,000 customers, has set its vision to be the best small company in America. 

 Contact: Dorothy Schnure, GMP Spokesperson, 802-655-8418