Massive GMP Workforce Attacks Persistent Power Outages

12 September 2013

Storms expected late today could cause additional outages and lengthen restoration time

Rutland, Vt. - Green Mountain Power has restored power to more than 33,000 customers who lost power during the recent intense wind and lightning storm, but in the areas hardest hit, power restoration will continue through Friday night. Those areas where damage was extensive include Randolph, Windsor, Mt. Holly, Cavendish, Royalton, Tinmouth, Chester, Reading, Sharon and Bethel.

“We are seeing hundreds of separate incidents with trees on lines and broken poles,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP corporate spokesperson. “Each of these events needs a line crew and a tree crew, and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to make repairs to half a day or more if the damage is extensive.”  

As of 4 pm Thursday, nearly 8,000 customers were without power. New outages are beginning to occur with the onset of another round of severe weather.

The outage situation may be complicated by another wave of storms expected to hit southern and central Vermont late this afternoon and evening.  “We are making headway on existing outages, but severe weather coming this afternoon and evening could dramatically increase the number of outages and the time we will need to restore service,” Schnure said.
An army of more than 350 workers, including GMP lineworkers, GMP support staff, local tree trimming crews, and out-of-state contract crews are working to restore power. Crews from Burlington Electric Department, Stowe Electric Department and Swanton Electric Department are also offering assistance as well as other utilities in New England.

“We know it is difficult to be without power for long periods of time,” Schnure said. “We have put together a large contingent of workers to restore power as quickly as we can. Customers have been very supportive of the hard work these folks do, and we appreciate all the kind comments they make to our staff both in person and on our Facebook page.”

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.  

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