Massive Heavy Wet Snowstorm Slams Vermont, Knocking Out Power to More than 37,000 GMP Customers
GMP Restored Power to More Than 16,400 Customers Overnight, More Snow and Outages Forecasted
27 November 2018
COLCHESTER, Vt. – Green Mountain Power safely restored power to more than 16,400 customers after strong winds and heavy wet snow hit Vermont late Monday, leaving widespread damage. Crews reported treacherous travel and working conditions, slowing their restoration work overnight. In some cases, for safety, crews had to pull out of line work because of trees crashing down around them.
GMP is more than doubling its field force today with outside crews helping as the storm continues to cause new outages this morning. The storm is moving north and lingering over Vermont creating a cement like layer on trees and lines. More snow is forecasted and GMP is alerting customers that some restoration work could take days.
“We were prepared to respond and we’ve made significant progress in difficult weather conditions,” said Mary Powell, GMP’s president and CEO. “Crews are facing dangerous travel, plus high winds and snow as they make their repairs for customers. The damage is widespread. We have hundreds of individual outages to respond to, and we won’t stop until all customers are back on. Our top priority is restoring power to our customers as safely and quickly as possible.”
The snow is very wet, making it heavy, and more likely to take down trees and power lines. Roger Hill, a meteorologist who forecasts for utilities in Vermont, says it is another sign of climate change in Vermont. “As the climate gets warmer the changes in temperatures aloft and at ground level of a few degrees warmer, contribute to storms more like the one we are currently seeing today,” Hill said. “ They cause infrastructure problems as the snow is heavy and water loaded. This has been modeled to occur more often in our future with a warming climate.”
GMP estimates many customers will have power back on tonight, but with the storm still happening, some repairs in hardest hit areas could take days.
GMP tracked the forecast for days in advance of the storm and positioned crews to be able to move safely and efficiently to make repairs. GMP had also brought in additional crews Monday to bolster its own field force. So far, the Royalton area of Central Vermont is seeing the greatest impact – more about half of the outages so far are in that region. More snow is falling in the northern part of the state and is expected to continue through the day.
GMP urges customers to be safe and stay away from any downed lines or trees. Customers can report and track outage restoration by using GMP’s online Outage Center: https://outages.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