GMP’s Most Experienced Lineworkers Say This Is Among the Worst Damage They’ve Encountered
29 November 2018
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power crews restored power to more than 90,000 customers as crews continue a days-long battle with challenging conditions including heavy wet snow and severe widespread damage in Central and Southern Vermont. Crews in the areas around Royalton, Springfield, Rutland, Wilmington and Brattleboro are still confronting multiple trees and lines down, often in off-road, back country locations.
“This is some of the worst damage I’ve seen in my years here,” said JP Carlisle, Line Foreman for GMP’s Springfield District who has been a lineman for 17 years. “Our first trip from Grafton to Windham right next door took three hours because we had to cut our way through fallen trees. In Chester, we spent hours picking up a key line that had dozens of breaks from about 40 trees that were falling around us as we worked. It feels good to get that cleaned up for customers.”
GMP is still taking new outages from this storm as there is cement like snow frozen on lines and trees combined with already saturated ground from weeks of rain that is causing trees to fall over. Yesterday alone there were more than 20,000 new outages. GMP is alerting customers that some in the hardest hit areas may not get back on until Saturday, while most will have power restored sooner.
“As frustrating as these conditions have been for crews, it is not nearly as frustrating as going days without power, we understand that and that’s why everyone is working so hard for our customers,” said Mary Powell, GMP’s president and CEO. “Crews continue to work around the clock and we still have hundreds of lineworkers on the job.” GMP tripled its field force with external crews from Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Ontario and Quebec in Canada. GMP also doubled its tree crews with teams from Pennsylvania, New York and New Hampshire.
GMP has opened its district offices in Royalton, Brattleboro, Sunderland and Springfield to customers who need food, a place to charge their phone, WiFi, or a warm spot.
Vermont Emergency Management has a complete list of standby shelters along with warming centers, which are open during the daytime on its website, https://vem.vermont.gov.
Customers can also can call 2-1-1 to find an overnight shelter or a warming center, or to report their current needs. That information is shared with Vermont Emergency Management to help determine the areas of greatest need for warming or overnight accommodations.
GMP is urging safety for customers.
- If you don’t have power and can’t be safe in your home, you can reach out to 211 for shelters in your area.
- Stay away from downed lines and downed trees, they can be hidden by snow.
- Don’t drive over downed lines.
- Watch out for power and emergency crews who will be working with large vehicles in narrow, snow-loaded roadways.
To get the latest information on outages and restoration times, customers can sign up for text service alerts, by texting REG to 46788 or GMPVT, or signing up online at greenmountainpower.com/textalerts. Customers can also sign up for GMP’s app to report outages at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for GMP. Customers can also report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672, or visiting GMP’s online Outage Center at www.greenmountainpower.com.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 265,000 residential and business customers in Vermont and is partnering with them to improve lives and transform communities. GMP is focused on a new way of doing business to meet the needs of customers with integrated energy services that help people use less energy and save money, while continuing to generate clean, cost-effective and reliable power in Vermont. GMP was the only utility named to Fast Company’s 2018 list of Most Innovative Companies for Energy and is the first utility in the world to get a B Corp certification, meeting rigorous social, environmental, accountability and transparency standards and committing to use business as a force for good. J.D. Power’s 2018 rankings also put GMP among top utilities for customer satisfaction.
Kristin Kelly, Green Mountain Power