GMP Teams Work Through the Night Making Major Progress Restoring Power to 75,000; Damage is Extensive and Bitter Cold and Ice Make for Dangerous Conditions
- Crews have restored power to more than 75,000 customers since early yesterday; 400+ GMP and contract lineworkers continue to focus on the remaining 19,000 who are out
- Icing from last night’s flash freeze and subzero wind chills make for very dangerous conditions
- Safety is the top priority today; shelters and warming centers and Vermont National Guard Armories are open for the public
- Crews warn to stay clear of downed trees and power lines and call 911 if you see a line down; safety tips can be found on GMP’s website
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Winter Storm Elliot, a Bomb Cyclone, slammed Vermont Friday leaving significant damage in its wake. Downed trees across the state caused outages in every county. Icing from the dropping temperatures made roads slick and a new added layer of fresh snow is making for very tricky restoration conditions today. Temperatures are dangerously low with windchills between 10 and 20 degrees below zero. GMP lineworkers worked through the night and continued to make progress restoring power to approximately 75,000 customers since the beginning of the storm. Thankfully the ice and snow did not lead to as many new outages as it could have, and teams are out in force to restore power to the 19,000 customers who are still out.
“Given the difficult traveling conditions out there and dangerously low temps, safety is top of mind for our customers and crews today,” said Mike Burke, vice president of field operations. “If Vermonters are without power and heat, please seek shelter at once to keep yourself warm. Check in on neighbors who may need assistance. This will continue to be a multi-day event, and we are working as efficiently as we can while keeping our crews safe to get power restored as soon as possible.”
Strong winds and heavy rain began Thursday evening and continued through most of the day Friday and as evening set in, temperatures dropped quickly below freezing leading to black ice on the roads as well as a fresh blanked of snow. The damage is extensive with uprooted trees, snapped power poles, downed lines and debris all along the roadways. Crews are having to clear their way to get to outages for repairs.
“The most recent severe windstorm produced the most damage of any widespread wind event since the October 30, 2017, storm and will likely rank as a top-three overall storm in terms of statewide impacts since 2008,” said Jay Shafer the Chief Science Officer at Disaster Tech, Inc who provides forecasts on storm calls to all Vermont utilities. “The last two weeks have brought Vermont a rare one-two punch of severe widespread power-outage producing storms. The Nor’easter last week produced more outages at its peak than any other wet storm since 1980 and there has not been a combination of two severe outage-impacting storms within such a short time period at least going back over four decades.”
Shelters and warming centers and Vermont National Guard Armories are open for the public: https://vem.vermont.gov/news/open-shelters-and-warming-centers.
For additional safety information, visit: https://greenmountainpower.com/safety/. For medical emergencies, always call 911. For help with temporary housing call the state’s help line 211.
GMP’s app and outage center is operating at this time. Customers may report outages and get updates through GMP’s text service or app, as well as by calling 1-888-835-4672, or visiting GMP’s Outage Center at https://greenmountainpower.com/outages/.
About Green Mountain Power
Green Mountain Power (GMP) serves approximately 270,000 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 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. GMP earned a spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in the World list four years in a row (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020). In 2021, the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) honored GMP as a nationwide leader in energy transformation, and in 2019 GMP earned the Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year Award from the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vermont Business Magazine.
Kristin Carlson, Green Mountain Power
If Vermonters are without power and heat, please seek shelter at once to keep yourself warm. Check in on neighbors who may need assistance. This will continue to be a multi-day event, and we are working as efficiently as we can while keeping our crews safe to get power restored as soon as possible.Mike Burke, vice president of field operations