Montpelier, Vt. – A mixed precipitation event forecast for this weekend could create new problems in areas of Vermont already severely impacted by this week’s winter storm. Governor Phil Scott and the state’s utilities are encouraging Vermonters to prepare for further power outages and hazards.
“Many throughout Vermont have endured power outages this week. Damage in central and southern Vermont was particularly severe as a result of this week’s storm and could be in the area of greatest impact again this weekend,” said Governor Scott. “My administration has been working with towns, utilities and non-profits this week to ensure everyone who needs help receives it. That will continue into this weekend as utilities complete restoration, and if new damage results from the upcoming storm.”
Anyone needing a place to stay or warm up should dial 2-1-1 to locate a warming center or emergency shelter (a warming center is open during the day; an emergency shelter is equipped for overnight stays). The 2-1-1 line will continue to share information from callers with Vermont Emergency Management, which will use the information to identify areas of greatest need, and then work with the American Red Cross to open shelters or with towns to open warming centers.
Locations of warming centers and shelters are listed on the Vermont Emergency Management website at www.vem.vermont.gov.
“Vermont’s utilities have been working closely together to coordinate the most effective restoration possible and to plan for the next round of potential outages,” Vermont’s electric utilities said in a joint statement. “We urge safety, as some of the forecasted wet snow, freezing rain and ice could impact the same areas that were already hit from the first storm. Our focus is getting power back on as quickly and safely as possible for the customers and members we serve, and our teams are ready for the weather.”
Vermonters are encouraged to prepare for further power outages by making a plan for themselves and their families. Charge cell phones, and replenish food, water, batteries and other essential supplies.
Officials also urge continued caution during the upcoming storm and during power outages:
- Check on the welfare of friends and neighbors, particularly the elderly and those with functional needs. And don’t forget to look out for pets;
- Carbon monoxide can be deadly – never run a generator indoors and always ensure all heating vents are clear of ice and snow. Have carbon monoxide detectors in all living areas. Go outside immediately and call for help if you suspect carbon monoxide in your home;
- Never touch a downed power line – treat all lines as if they are live. When clearing downed trees and branches, make certain they are not in contact with any power lines; and
- Report power outages to your utility.