Power Outages Could Last Until After Christmas

By Lesley Engle

Published 12/24 2013 07:56AM

Updated 12/24 2013 07:59AM

Vermont Electric Co-op says it continues to make progress restoring power, but some customers could be in the dark until after Christmas.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, about 5,000 customers were without power due to damaged caused by the ice storm. Crews have restored power to 26,000 people.

VEC officials say they will continue to restore power throughout the day, however, they anticipate as many as 2,500 customers to remain without power through Christmas Day—and for some longer.

“An ice storm is one of the worst types of weather events when it comes to power outages,” said VEC’s CEO Dave Hallquist. “The damage is significant, and the combination of dropping temperatures and freezing rain for a prolonged period mean that while line workers are repairing existing outages, trees continue to fall on lines causing new outages.”

For more details about shelters and other resources, people are encouraged to call 2-1-1.

Actions those in affected areas should take to be safe are:

  • Check in with your neighbors, especially those who are elderly or may be in need of assistance.
  • Ensure your home has a sufficient supply of whatever you use as “fuel” to heat your home.
  • Have extra items on hand in case you can’t leave your house for a while.
    • Flashlight
    • Batteries
    • Battery powered radio
    • Water
    • Non-perishable foods
  • If you lose power and need a warm place to go Vermont 2-1-1 has a list of shelters that are open.  
  • If you see a downed power line, leave it alone – always treat power lines as if they are live.  A live wire can kill you.
  • If clearing trees or limbs, make CERTAIN they are not in contact with a power line.  Trees and branches can conduct electricity and electrocute you on contact.
  • Never run a generator indoors.  Ensure it is outside – far away from windows or any other area from which exhaust can vent back into a living area.  Carbon monoxide can cause injury or death.
  • Have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

For more information please visit VEC’s website at www.vermontelectric.coop/outage or call 800-832-2667.

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