Damaging Snowstorm Knocks Out Power to Nearly 90,000 Customers, New Outages Coming In
28 November 2018
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power crews and an army of outside crews have restored power to more than 63,000 customers since a heavy wet snowstorm hit the state late Monday. About 27,000 customers are still without power. Snow continues to fall and more than 2,200 new outages have been reported overnight and this morning and they are still coming.
“The damage is widespread, the conditions are still hazardous, we are still getting new outages,” said Mary Powell, GMP’s president and CEO. “We want our customers to know we are working hard, but given the severe damage over hundreds of miles, getting the job done could take days. Crews spent a lot of time yesterday working with emergency responders just to clear trees and get roads open safely. Crews are making a lot of progress, but in some locations, they’ve restored power only to have more trees knock it out again.”
GMP had prepositioned crews, and brought in crews from out of state before the storm and has hundreds of lineworkers in the field. GMP is focusing crews in those hard hit areas of Central and Southern Vermont where the heavy wet snow encased trees and powerlines. Cooler temperatures overnight held that weight in place, and new snow is adding up.
“We’re getting to the largest, quickest outages to repair first,” said Mike Burke, Chief of GMP Field Operations. “By focusing our resources this way, we’re able to restore power to more customers quickly and safely, but that means some smaller, harder to reach locations will have a longer wait. We also need to repair those lines first, to be able to repair the ones in more remote locations.”
GMP estimates most of the remaining 27,000 customers will have power back on by Friday night if conditions do not deteriorate with new snow today, but some outages may last into Saturday night or Sunday.
Individual towns, Vermont Emergency Management, and the American Red Cross are assessing the need for shelters in areas impacted by extended power outages. GMP is providing those entities with projected restoration times to aid in that assessment.
State emergency officials say individuals who need a place to warm up or charge a cell phone, should contact their town to see if there is a warming or overnight shelter in town. Should there be no local shelter, individuals can call 2-1-1 to find a shelter, or to report their current need. That information is shared with VEM to help determine the areas of greatest need.
GMP is also opening its district offices in Royalton, Brattleboro, Sunderland and Springfield to customers who need food, a place to charge their phone, or a warm spot.
GMP is urging safety.
- 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.
- 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 with a touch of a finger at the Apple App Store or Google Play Store and search for GMP. Customers may also report outages by calling 888-835-4672, or visiting GMP’s Outage Center page 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