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Severe thunderstorm slams Vermont

It was a spring storm to rival any subtropical monster. The severe thunderstorm that whipped through the western Vermont May 27 knocked out power to about 24,000 CVPS customers at its peak around 1 a.m. High winds took down trees, power lines, and flung debris into cars and houses.

In downtown Middlebury, a venerable shade tree was blown down in front of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce office on Court Street. Elsewhere in the college town, streets were littered with branches, leaves and other debris.

Rutland City area residents huddled indoors against the big storm which downed trees and produced scattered outages around the county.

In Brandon, off Route 53 in the Forestbrook development area, a large tree fell and snapped a power pole "like a twig" that cut power to hundreds of homes in the area.

Christine Rivers, a spokeswoman for CVPS and a resident of Brandon, said, "We lost power at about 8:30 p.m. and then I drove into work on Route 53 May 27 and saw why. Our crews have a lot of work to do."

About 13,200 CVPS customers were without power in Windham, Rutland, Addison and Bennington counties. We've had reports of wind gusts up to 70 mph, and severe wind and tree damage in the Brattleboro and Poultney areas.

About 8,200 customers were without power in Windham County, 3,300 in Rutland County, and 1,200 in Addison County, with some scattered outages across the state.

CVPS acquired more than 20 outside contract crews from Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Vermont that are mobilizing to the utility's Brattleboro and Poultney districts to assist in the restoration effort there. CVPS moved line crews from other parts of the state to the affected areas as they finished their restoration efforts.

The CVPS system sustained transmission damage that was quickly repaired, however, officials said they had reports of trees down "everywhere" and many broken poles.

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