Nor'easter approching New England; GMP cautions motorists

07 February 2013

RUTLAND, VT... Green Mountain Power storm managers, line workers and support staff are making final preparations today as a Nor’easter makes its way to the Northeast.  Southeastern Vermont could see upwards of 14” of snow while the Champlain Valley and towns along the Canadian Border could receive 5-8”.

“Contract line and tree crews have been secured and are prepared to assist our line workers,” GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said.  “Snowfall amounts could be significant but the cold temperatures should keep the snow light and fluffy creating minimal issues from an outage perspective.  During events like this we always suggest motorists take extra caution as car-pole incidents can be an increased risk.”

The latest weather forecast suggests snow will begin to fall in Vermont Thursday night into Friday.  Snowfall will move south to north across the region during the day Friday with the heart of the storm occurring Friday afternoon-night, lingering into Saturday morning.

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