“Sandy” Update #1: Friday, October 26th, 6:00 pm

National Weather Service Satellite Image: Friday October 26th, 2012

Woodstock Emergency Services Director L.D. Sutherland, Jr. contacted Woodstock Early Bird this afternoon to onpass some information to us about the potential for the remnants of Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc here.  Sutherland participated in a conference call this afternoon with Vermont Emergency Management and the National Weather Service. Here is his update:

1. At this point (date and time above), any “Frankenstorm” or “Perfect Storm” that you may have heard about is likely to mainly affect us with HIGH WINDS.

2. The storm –with rain — should arrive with HIGH WINDS in Central Vermont on or about TUESDAY AFTERNOON into TUESDAY EVENING.

3. The storm, according to Sutherland from his conference call notes, is NOT expected to be the rainfall “event” we experienced with IRENE. “It is not expected to be another Irene,” he said.

4.  However, the storm as it ends up in Vermont, will be a “slow-mover” and may linger from Tuesday afternoon into Thursday night or even Friday.

5. As of the above date and time, the NWS discussion was focused on a N’oreaster-style storm affecting Vermont.

6. With the high winds, we might expect to see some power lines down and therefore power outages.

Many in Woodstock Village may have received or will receive a long-orange/yellow flier attached to their doors or mailboxes. These have been put together by the Village of Woodstock with the coordination of Rep. Alison Clarkson. The flier provides information on where to go or who to call if needed during or after the storm.

7. Should you have a need for emergency shelter due to lack of lighting or warmth, or other needs,  the Woodstock Elementary School is the designated shelter location. We would let you know if and when the Town is opening that shelter.

8. The flier says you can get a phone call in case of emergency by registering with Woodstock Dispatch. This is actually a “work-in-progress” as a phone tree idea which is still being worked on.

Here is Friday’s Press Release from Green Mountain Power (our utility which we have known as CVPS in the past). Woodstock Early Bird expects to be getting direct updates from GMP as they are needed. We are on a list of contacts for utility informaton. This press release also provides some good information for staying safe with a power outage (We note that Woodstock Trustee Bob Pear’s favorite thing to do — fill the bathtub with water — is on the GMP list of advice…)

For immediate release:  October 26, 2012

 GMP prepares for Tropical Storm Sandy, offers safety advice to customers

 Green Mountain Power is in the midst of preparing for Tropical Storm Sandy and is advising customers of the potential for strong winds and rain that could cause power outages throughout Vermont early next week.

 To ensure it is prepared for all potential impacts of the storm, GMP has secured 108 external contract line and tree crews from as far away as Florida, Tennessee and Ontario, in addition to the 71 internal line crews and 65 contract tree crews that perform routine maintenance work on the system.

 “These crews are scheduled to arrive overnight Sunday into Monday.  Once they arrive, they will receive safety briefings and we will efficiently deploy them to the areas of greatest need so we can restore power as quickly as possible,” GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker said.

 GMP, which serves about 250,000 customers throughout Vermont, is also organizing its internal support staff, ensuring clear lines of communication with customers and local emergency management officials and taking efforts to lower the levels of its various reservoirs at hydro power generation facilities.

 “With any kind of weather event, there is always some level of uncertainty in terms of the intensity and path of a storm system,” Baker said.  “Therefore, we have made great efforts over the past four days or so to plan and prepare for the absolute worst-case scenario, though we are all hoping that won’t be the situation.”

 GMP is urging customers to do the same by gathering various essential items including plenty of food and water, as well as flashlights and batteries.  GMP also recommends that customers check on any elderly friends, family or neighbors that may be affected by a power outage.

 GMP also offers 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.
  • Michael from Vermont Generators was out early Friday morning checking on local generators to make sure they are in working order.

  • If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting it.  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 garages, sheds or other buildings, as the fumes can be poisonous.

Customers may report an outage by calling 1-888-835-4672, visiting GMP’s Outage Center page atwww.greenmountainpower.com or by clicking the “Power Out?” button on GMP’s Facebook site.

6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joanne Boyle on October 26, 2012 at 18:37

    Thanks Julia, great information.
    I’ll be posting any Twitters from #woodstockvtgov – our local Emergency Management feed – on the Facebook page that was made during Irene called “Woodstock VT Flood Response” for those with Facebook accounts but without Twitter. Hope this helps.

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  2. Hi Julia – the number given here by GMP for outage reports is different from the number on the bill for outage reports – do they have 2 numbers or is only one the correct one – do you know? Thanks!

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  3. Posted by Andrea Sand on October 26, 2012 at 20:50

    I heard a sensible tip this evening: don’t have a lot of food in your fridge/freezer as of Tuesday morning in case we lose power for a few days.

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