“The best way to get customers back on quickly is to have a very intense response right from the start,” said Dorothy Schnure. “We’ve lined up hundreds of additional out-of-state line workers and tree trimmers in addition to all the GMP employees who will be working until all power is restored.”
The National Weather Service warns that significant amounts of ice could begin accumulating late Saturday night and Sunday morning from northern Vermont as far south as Rutland County. When ice becomes about half an inch thick, tree limbs break and power lines sag, and outages can be extensive.
“We know this is a difficult time to be without power, and we are putting all our effort into having a massive workforce available as soon as the outages start. Our response team will be positioned where we expect the most damage so we can get started right away. Even so, the kind of damage that ice causes could take a long time to restore,” Schnure said.
Customers may report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672 or by visiting GMP’s Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com
GMP offered the following safety advice to prepare for possible extended outages:
· Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.
· Be sure to charge up your cell phone in advance of the storm.
· If you have a well, fill a bathtub with water before you lose service so the water can be used to flush toilets when the power is out. PREVENT UNSUPERVISED BATHROOM ACCESS TO CHILDREN.
· Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your electric utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away.
· 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.
· If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting it. 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.
· Never use grills inside garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.
· For other tips on planning for a winter storm, visit the Vermont Emergency Management at http://vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/hazards/winter