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CVPS, GMP warn Vermonters of high winds, heavy rains

Central Vermont Public Service and Green Mountain Power are advising customers in the southern half of Vermont of the potential for significant wind and heavy rain damage that could cause extensive damage and power outages this evening and into Friday. Customers across the state could see scattered power outages this afternoon and into Friday.

Utility forecasts include the threat of high wind gusts of more than 50 mph, combined with several inches of rain, which could cause significant power outages in the southern half of Vermont and eastern slopes of the Green Mountains.

Utility crews are on standby and are contacting outside contract crews to ensure a strong response if the wind and rain bring significant problems. Government officials are also coordinating efforts to assure the necessary resources are available.

CVPS and GMP urged customers to be sure to have flashlights, batteries, food and water available in case they lose electrical service, and suggested that friends, family and neighbors check on elderly Vermonters who may need help. Candles are not recommended as light sources during a power outage due to fire risk.

The utilities offered the following advice:

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

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 local utility and fire department, stay at least 50 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.

If using a generator, read and follow the owner's manual before starting the generator. 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.

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.

Never use grills inside for warmth, as the fumes can be poisonous.

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