Crews restore power to more than 12,800 customers

RUTLAND/MIDDLEBURY - Overnight crews made good progress last night, restoring service to 12,800 customers, as CVPS prepares to flood Addison and Bennington counties with fresh line, tree and contract crews this morning.

"Crews made steady progress through the night as winds died down, but the storm did tremendous damage in particular areas of Addison County right around dark," CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers said. "We have 14 contract crews from Connecticut, as well as other Vermont contract crews and line crews from Green Mountain Power and Burlington Electric assisting CVPS crews in the restoration effort this morning."

As of 8 a.m. Dec. 10, 4,200 customers were without power. CVPS expects to have power restored to most customers in Bennington County and Rutland County today. Customers in Addison County may be without power through the night, especially in the Lincoln, East Middlebury and Bristol area. While most customers should have power restored by this evening, there may be some scattered outages carrying into Dec. 11.

More than 17,000 CVPS customers are estimated to have lost power after a large winter storm with high winds wreaked havoc on New England Dec. 9. Bennington, Rutland and Addison counties were hardest hit, as high winds brought down trees and power lines along the western slopes of the Green Mountains.

"We have at least 20 broken poles across the state," said Manager of Field Operations Geno Balestra. "We have some major damage in East Middebury and Lincoln - large trees came down everywhere. We had crews working all day and night clearing trees and limbs from 10 sections of line with five broken poles in Lincoln. Restoration efforts are also being slowed by roads that still may be blocked off."

High winds also brought down trees and caused a large transmission pole to burn up in a swamp in Pownal around 3 a.m., affecting about 1,000 customers. Crews will be working to replace that pole and reattach lines this morning.

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