On May 11, 2017

Friday windstorm left 21,000 without power, cleanup continues

By Alan J. Keays, VTDigger

All of the more than 21,000 homes and businesses in Vermont that had their electricity knocked out Friday, May 5, by a powerful windstorm had service back by Sunday afternoon.

Around 1 p.m. Sunday, Green Mountain Power had reported about 250 customers along the southern Route 7 corridor in Rutland County, including the towns of Clarendon, Danby and Wallingford, remained without power.

By 2:30 p.m., power had been restored to those remaining customers, according to Kristin Carlson, GMP’s vice president of external affairs.

Power had been restored to all GMP customers by early Sunday morning in Rutland, one of the hardest-hit communities.

Rutland Mayor David Allaire said Sunday the city’s Department of Public Works was finishing up work cleaning the remaining storm debris from streets.

“Still no injuries have been reported to me,” he said. “I’d say all and all we’re in pretty good shape.”

He said he would be meeting in the next couple of days with department heads to tally expenses from the storm and determine whether the city will apply for federal disaster funding.

“Everyone is keeping track of their time and hours and what damage they’ve come across and assessed,” the mayor said.

Allaire’s home on Church Street also sustained damage in the late Friday afternoon storm, with a tree falling onto the roof.

“It’s going to take a crane to come in and lift it off,” the mayor said of the roughly 60-foot tree he estimated to be between 80 and 100 years old. “It did puncture the roof slightly on one corner.”

Utility crews from several states and Canada converged on the Rutland region over the weekend to assist in restoring power.

Late Friday afternoon powerful gusts, reaching a top speed of 74 m.p.h., toppled trees and knocked out power.

At one point Friday, GMP shut off power to all of Rutland at the request of city officials for safety reasons due to all the downed lines, according to Carlson.

Utility crews came into the region from New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont Electric Cooperative, Burlington Electric Department, Stowe Electric and Canada.

Photo by Alan J. Keays, VTDigger
A tree rests on the roof of Rutland Mayor David Allaire’s Church Street home, where it came crashing down late Friday afternoon during a windstorm. The mayor, in a red shirt, stands on the front steps.

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