GMP Ready for Weekend Storm

The threat of another weekend storm has utility crews on standby.
COLCHESTER, Vt. - Another weekend, another storm.

This weekend will bring more of a wintry mix of rain, snow, and even some freezing rain. That fine line between plain rain and freezing rain is hard to pin down, forcing crews to prepare early.

Dorothy Schnure of Green Mountain Power says, "we've already had three different meetings, internal meetings and also a state wide storm meeting with all of the utilities in Vermont to plan for what we will do if the ice predicted develops."

GMP is preparing early because it knows just a few degrees separates plain rain from freezing rain that cakes everything in a layer of ice.

"The ice build up on the trees presents some pretty significant problems," Schnure said.

Forecasting those slight temperature differences several days before the storm is nearly impossible, so GMP already has 400 additional workers from around New England on stand-by.

"We want to make sure that if it is a severe event that we have a lot of additional help to come in during the storm," said Schnure.

It's a similar story at the airport, where officials are also ready for whatever the weekend storm may bring. They want to make sure travelers get to their holiday destinations with as few delays as possible. Gene Richards, Director of Aviation at Burlington International, says even though the airport is in exceptional shape for the upcoming storm ice, as opposed to snow, offers unique challenges. To limit freezing, the airport uses huge, powerful round brooms on the runway.

"We will try to sweep it while it’s still in the water form or coming down," Richards says. Richards says the brooms are highly effective, limit the use of chemicals, and save money.

Regardless, the hope at the airport, and at GMP, is the same.

"We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope its rain," Schnure says.
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