RUTLAND - Overnight crews made good progress Dec. 10, restoring service to 12,800 customers, as CVPS prepares to flood Addison and Bennington counties with fresh line, tree and contract crews this morning.
"Crews made steady progress through the night as winds died down, but the storm did tremendous damage in particular areas of Addison County right around dark," CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers said. "We have 14 contract crews from Connecticut, as well as other Vermont contract crews and line crews from Green Mountain Power and Burlington Electric assisting CVPS crews in the restoration effort."
On Dec. 10, 4,200 customers were without power. CVPS expected to have power restored to most customers in Bennington County and Rutland County by Dec. 11. Customers in the Lincoln, East Middlebury and Bristol area lost power until Dec. 11. While most customers should have had power restored by Dec. 10, there were some scattered outages carrying into Dec. 11.
More than 17,000 CVPS customers are estimated to have lost power after a large winter storm with high winds wreaked havoc on New England last week. Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties were hardest hit, as high winds brought down trees and power lines along the western slopes of the Green Mountains.
"We have at least 20 broken poles across the state," said Manager of Field Operations Geno Balestra. "We have some major damage in East Middebury and Lincoln - large trees came down everywhere. We had crews working all day and night clearing trees and limbs from 10 sections of line with five broken poles in Lincoln. Restoration efforts are also being slowed by roads that still may be blocked off."
High winds also brought down trees and caused a large transmission pole to burn up in a swamp in Pownal, affecting about 1,000 customers. Crews worked to replace that pole and reattach lines.
CVPS offered several safety tips for coping with the outages:
•Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 30 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.
•If using a generator, read and follow the owner's manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.
•Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.
•If power goes out, turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you'll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.