Local News

High winds and freezing rains cause over 22,500 Vermonters to lose power

By Angelo Lynn

BRANDON — High winds that whipped along the western base of the Green Mountains and elsewhere in Vermont on Monday knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses on Monday and caused an untold amount of property damage.

Green Mountain Power reported the loss of electricity to more than 22,500 of its customers in Rutland, Windsor, Addison, and Bennington counties. The company deployed not only its own repair crews, but also 60 external line crews from Canada, Maine and Massachusetts, which essentially doubled its field force. The company said that didn’t include tree crews.

Those crews, which have had a lot of practice these past few months, were quickly restoring power to most places, and GMP expected the vast majority of customers to have their electricity back sometime on Tuesday, April 17. As of for 9 a.m. Tuesday, GMP was reporting one outage in Brandon, one in Chittenden, three in Pittsford and three in Mendon. But places tighter against or in the mountains were slower to be restored. At that time 128 power customers in Goshen were still affected, 152 in Leicester and 86 in Salisbury.

Thomas Murphy of Green Mountain Power told WCAX-TV on Monday morning that it couldn’t get into some parts of Goshen at that point because of the danger of more trees coming down.

“Just too dangerous around the main road there,” said Murphy. “People with cars, we were trying to direct them through and trees
were falling while we were
up there.”

Winds of 65 mph were forecast and Vermont Emergency Management confirmed reports of 64 mph gusts in Mendon and 55 mph gusts in Rutland. But if that weren’t enough, the area also received some precipitation in the form of freezing rain and a little snow that made it more than a little uncomfortable to be outside early this week. The temperatures in the area were mostly above freezing and into the 40s, though dipped into the 20s overnight during the most of the past week.

The forecast for the rest of the week were for high temps in the low 40s and, again, dipping below freezing at night, with trace amounts of precipitation — rain or snow depending on when it falls.

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