Second week of storms could bring more outages

02 July 2013

COLCHESTER, VT…For a second week in a row, daily storms bring the potential for power outages across the state for the remainder of the week.

“The nearly non-stop rain and storms make power outages even more likely, as the soggy ground makes trees come down in lighter winds than usual,” said Dorothy Schnure, GMP corporate spokesperson. “We are also seeing random pop-up lightning storms that are difficult to predict.”

Last week, more than 49,000 GMP customers lost power during the several days that storms hammered the state, exceeding the number of customers that lost power during SuperStorm Sandy when 48,000 customers experienced outages.

“Our lineworkers worked incredibly hard last week, with roughly the equivalent of SuperStorm Sandy spread out over several days,” said Schnure. “Luckily we had a short break before this week’s storms hit the state, and we are prepared to respond in full force again.”

The heavy rains are contributing to rising water levels in rivers and near hydro facilities. Although most of GMP’s hydro facilities are “run of river” and therefore don’t store water above the dams, Green Mountain Power has been closely monitoring reservoir elevations every day and reducing levels appropriately to ensure safe operations. 

“While our dams continue to operate very safely, we urge people to stay away from riverbanks and any fast moving waters,” said Schnure. “We understand the power of running water and the safety risks of getting too close to it.”

GMP has crews lined up to respond quickly as outages occur. “We are keeping a very close eye on the weather so we can put crews in place even before the weather hits,” 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:

* 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.


Dorothy Schnure, Corporate Spokesperson 802-655-8418