A powerful wind storm that blew through Vermont Friday caused more power outages than Super Storm Sandy.
As of this morning, around 6,800 households and businesses are without power. The majority of those outages are in hard-hit Addison and Rutland Counties. And the lights might not be back on for some until Christmas Eve. The American Red Cross planned to open a shelter at the Leahy Center at Rutland Regional Medical Center for people without power and heat.
GMP spokesman Jeremy Baker says the winds associated with the storm were much stronger and the damage more intense than Sandy. Crews are reporting hundreds of power poles snapped at the base and trees blown down. The utility has restored service to over 20,000 customers, but restoration work will continue until at least Monday. At the peak of the storm over 30,000 customers were without power.
The utility has called in 67 contract crews to help with the power restoration efforts.
Vermont Electric Cooperative says the Cambridge area was also particularly hard hit, when a substation failed due to a downed tree.
VEC line crews, as well as contract crews are out in force. VEC expects all of their customers to have power again by 6 p.m. Saturday.
The National Weather Service said a gust of wind of 73 miles per hour was recorded in Jericho just after noon. Earlier Friday a gust of 86 mph was recorded at the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak.