A Bell Long Ranger helicopter flies over Route 100 in Rutland County yesterday. Several helicopters from Mansfield Heliflight are aiding flood recovery workers including utilities.
Volunteer, state, local and federal workers working on the Aug. 28 flood recovery effort in Vermont are being warned to be aware of overhead and underground electrical equipment. Several utilities, principally Central Vermont Public Service, are advising contractors that current recovery work is exposing them to potentially dangerous situations.
According the Steve Costello, CVPS spokeman, "In some areas, utilities may have lost the ground-to-cable clearances they had prior to the flood. Vermont utilities urge all contractors and state and federal agencies to use caution along power lines, and encourage them to report any ‘defects’ to the utility systems, such as low-hanging lines, they may notice in the field."
Costello said CVPS has posted the following tips to help contractors stay out of harm's way:
Remember to stay at least 10 feet away from electrical lines with equipment such as crane booms and cables, excavators, backhoes and raised dump bodies.
Stay away from and do not handle any downed utility cables. Report such conditions to the power company, and keep others away as well. Do not assume that since they’re down that they’re de-energized. Do not try to move them out of your way; either by hand or with your equipment.
Please report any washed out or dangling poles and their support devices.
Please report any washed out underground utility cables and stay clear of them.
Please report any low-hanging utility cables and stay clear of them. Remember ground to overhead cable clearances may not be what they were prior to the flood.