VEC Crews Continue Tackling Outages Caused by Winter Storm Bruce

Staff Writer

Johnson, VT – Crews continue to work to restore power across VEC territory after a snowstorm delivered a shot of heavy wet snowfall to the region. Additional snow is expected today and as temperatures rise, there may be new outages caused by snow dropping off power lines.
Depending upon the extent of yet-to-be assessed damage, and continuing outages and snow conditions, VEC estimates restorations will continue for several more days.
Winter Storm Bruce, which dumped several inches of snow across Vermont in recent days and has affected utilities across the state and tens of thousands of Vermonters have been without power over the last 24 hours.
“This has been a very challenging storm,” said Rebecca Towne, VEC’s chief executive officer. “Heavy, wet snow fell yesterday and continues to fall today – with as much as 6” more expected, and over time this snow has accumulated on trees and lines causing continuing outages in all parts of VEC territory,” she said.
Towne noted that adding to the challenge soon could be snow “offloading.” As temperatures rise, snow melts off the lines, causing them to spring back upward, making contact with trees and again causing additional outages.
Since yesterday morning, VEC crews have restored power to over 6,500 members, but new outages continue to come in.
VEC crews worked all yesterday and throughout last night on assessment and restoration and are getting help from utility crews from Swanton as well as tree contractors. VEC is also working with out-of-state electric co-op crews for help with restoration.
VEC urges members who are without power to stay safe and keep the following in mind:

· Regularly check the VEC outage page at www.vermontelectric.coop for estimated restoration times. “TBD” means that the outage may not have been assessed yet and that you should prepare for a multi-day outage.
· Vermont Emergency Management (https://vem.vermont.gov/) is continually assessing the need for shelters. If you have a need for shelter, call toll-free 1-866-652-4636.
· If you encounter a downed power line stay clear of the line and promptly call VEC at 800-832-2667.
· If you run a generator, do so safely including always operating it outdoors. Never run a generator in a barn, shed or garage.

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