GMP preparing for heavy wet snow and new outages

29 December 2013

COLCHESTER, Vt. – Predicted wet, heavy snow falling on trees that have not shed ice from last weekend’s storm could cause a new round of outages in northwestern Vermont as well as areas in southeastern Vermont that were not significantly affected by last week’s storm, Green Mountain Power said Sunday.

“Our line crews are ready to respond to any new outages that occur as a result of today’s snow,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP’s corporate spokesperson. “We’ve been able to keep up with the recurring outages since last week’s storm and will have staff in place tonight in areas expected to be hit the hardest.”

Green Mountain Power restored service to all customers on Christmas Eve, but has experienced on-going new outages due to ice on trees continuing to drop branches onto lines. This storm could affect communities statewide, even in areas without ice remaining on trees in southern Vermont possibly moving up to Orange and Washington counties.

“The forecast calls for extremely cold weather to follow this snow, and while our goal will be to restore power quickly, some areas may be more severely affected and we urge customers to prepare for the storm and follow safety recommendations such as staying away from downed lines and not using generators inside or near any structure,” said Schnure.

 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:
· Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
· Charge your cell phone, rechargeable batteries, and other devices that you rely on.
· 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.