VEC Crews Work To Restore Power

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 12/24 2013 06:58PM

Updated 12/25 2013 07:03AM

FAIRFAX, Vt.-  About 600 utility works from Vermont and neighboring states have joined Vermont Electric Cooperative working to restore power.
At last count more than three thousand people are still without power.
Crews with Vermont Electric Cooperative continue to work on power lines trying relentlessly to get people back on the grid.
“The efforts have been really challenging,” said Shawn Juarie, a group leader with VEC.
Challenging for a number of reasons.
“The first challenging part is to find out where the problem is,” said Juaire.
Juaire crews have been out working non -stop.
“This is our second day here on this piece of line, we are starting - trying to get to the end of this one and then on to the next one,” said Juaire.
Accessing the downed power lines is the tough part. Some poles are not easily accessible by truck, so crews are strapping on gear and heading out on foot.
“You'd make about three steps, fall through, make two more after you dig yourself out of the hole- make two more steps- fall back through. It’s been quite a leg workout. Just moving anywhere,” said Juaire.
“It’s very difficult, very slow going,” said David Hallquist, CEO of Vermont Electric Cooperative.
Hallquist has been checking on crews all throughout Vermont.
These crews put up a new pole after ice snapped the old one in half.
“This is worse than the ice storm of 1998,” said Hallquist.
Worse, Hallquist says because the outages are so widespread and the affected lines are tough to get to.
“We get a few restored and then we lose some. Even today as I speak we were optimistic an hour ago and we are a little more pessimistic now because we are losing some,” said Hallquist.
And as temperatures hover in the single digits Juaire is afraid more iced branches will continue to snap under pressure.
“It might look like this March 1st, I hope not- but it may,” said Juaire.

Crews will continue to work throughout the night and over the next few days to restore power.
But it may be another few days before everyone has power.
And crews want to remind people that there's a chance your power could still go out - even after it’s restored so it’s a good idea to still have supplies on hand.

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