Rain, snow continues

RUTLAND - Central Vermont Public Service crews restored service to more than 24,000 customers Feb. 24 even as snow loading resulted in more outages. More than 42,000 CVPS customers were estimated to have lost power after the first wave of this double-hitter moved through New England Feb. 24.

"The storm dumped heavy snow throughout the state today, causing us to take additional outages as repairs were being made," CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers said. "We were assisted by 40 contract crews from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Connecticut. We also hd more than 15 tree crews, as well as other Vermont contract crews and line crews assisting CVPS crews in the restoration effort."

As of 5:15 p.m., Feb. 24, 17,200 customers remained without power. But crews worked quickly as they safely restored power through the evening and into Feb. 25, but many customers could be without power going into the second wave of the storm.

Franklin, Addison, Rutland, Windsor, Windham and Bennington counties were hardest hit, as heavy, wet snow brought down tree limbs and power lines across the state.

"Our crews saw a lot of damage from tree limbs coming down on lines, due the weight of the heavy snow," said Storm Operations Chief and Preconstruction Manager Jeremy Baker. "We've got a lot of snow sticking to the power lines too, and as tree limbs hit them, fuses blow or lines come down, so a lot of the work is patrolling the lines and finding the limb, line or blown fuse, and this can be very time-consuming."

CVPS worked to restore as many customers as possible, in anticipation of the second wave of this system, which forecasters say could have characteristics similar to the April 2007 Nori'cane that knocked out power to more than 68,000 CVPS customers.

"We are anticipating the possibility of additional widespread outages and extensive damage to our system Thursday and Friday, and are working to secure additional outside help," Rivers said.

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