GMP preparing for weekend ice storm

News Release — Green Mountain Power
Dec. 19, 2013

COLCHESTER – Green Mountain Power is gearing up in preparation for an ice storm that may hit Vermont on Saturday afternoon and continue into Sunday. According to the National Weather Service, Vermont may see a mixture of snow, sleet or ice.

Depending on how the storm develops, a combination of precipitation and freezing temperatures could cause ice build-up on trees and power lines. When ice becomes about half an inch thick, tree limbs break and power lines sag, and outages can be extensive.

“These conditions are very difficult to predict, and a change of one or two degrees can make all the difference in whether customers lose power or not,” said Dorothy Schnure, Green Mountain Power spokesperson. We are intensely preparing now so that if outages occur they can be restored as quickly as possible.”

The company will be staffed with employees prepared to start work on a moment’s notice. GMP has also has lined up more than 400 line and tree trimming contract workers to be available if needed to assist GMP crews in restoring power as quickly as possible.

“We will continue to monitor conditions and will keep customers updated through Facebook, Twitter and media announcements,” said Schnure.

GMP offered the following safety advice:

· Before outages occur, be sure you have a phone that is hard-wired and does not rely on electricity.

· 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 vem.vermont.gov/preparedness/hazards/winter

Customers may report outages by calling 1-888-835-4672, visiting GMP’s Outage Center page at www.greenmountainpower.com or mobile enhanced at m.greenmountainpower.com, or by clicking the “Power Out?” button on GMP’s Facebook site.

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