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BENNINGTON – The message to those still sitting in the dark, waiting for their power to be restored after this week’s Northeast: Line workers across Canada and other states are working with local crews around the clock to turn the lights back on across the state, says Green Mountain Power.
“Crews have been working…they’ve been working since the storm hit, and they’re making a lot of progress,” Utility said. Vice President Kristin Carlson THURSDAY.
She said around 75,000 customers had their power restored, of which around 12,000 were still in the dark as of this morning.
But she predicted rapid progress for most of them, though some probably won’t have power for another day.
Carlson said about 500 line workers from Canada, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island are in Vermont to help. The initial focus at the start of the storm was to help local emergency crews safely clear the roads of downed trees and wires.
“The problem with this storm was that it was high winds coupled with heavy, wet snow that led to this cement-like snow that accumulated on trees and wires,” she said. These winds brought down trees and electrical wires.
Carlson said the power company was prepared for the storm, but was somewhat surprised by the duration. Citing climate change, she added: “We are seeing an increase in the frequency and severity of storms.”
The utility posted a state map (greenmountainpower.com/outages) showing the number of outages city by city. When the storm began Tuesday morning, Windham County and southeastern Vermont were clearly experiencing significant outages. One of the hardest hit communities was Chester, which still had more than 1,000 outages as of midday Thursday.
Additionally, Brattleboro, Guilford, Newfane and Townshend had a high number of outages.
In Bennington County, Pownal remained a hard-hit community, with hundreds of people still in the dark as of midday. Londonderry had 240 breakdowns; Shaftbury 192; Arlington 142 and Bennington – which rescue workers said weathered the storm well – 77. Manchester, which a day earlier had recorded around 600 outages, was down to 66 today.
“This map…explains breakdown density,” Carlson said. “At the start of the storm, crews joined forces with first responders to clear the roads for safety…just to clear the roads of these massive trees. Now they (focus on) restoring power.
“We expect to make a lot of progress today,” Carlson said. “In some of the hardest hit areas, it could still be another day.”
She said line crews started with a safety priority – clearing roads – then focused on restoring power to emergency locations like hospitals, then restoring town centers, so that a power grid is in place to reach those in more remote locations.
The crews, she said, “are trained professionals. That’s what they do. They are all focused on catering to people.
Green Mountain Power: Extra line crews working 24/7 to restore power | Local News
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