by Mickey Smith
Fourteen months after the remnants of Hurricane Irene caused damage up and down Vermont, residents geared up for a visit from superstorm Sandy, a storm of which the people of New Jersey and New York are still feeling the effects. Sandy, though, chose a different path and North Central Vermont was spared from the brunt of the storm.
About 500 houses in the Vermont Electric Cooperative coverage area were without power after the storm which began Monday night, October 29. VEC Manger of Corporate Services Liz Gamache said the outages were mostly reported in Eden and Johnson. She said for the most part these issues were related to trees coming down on the lines.
Power had been restored throughout their service area by Wednesday morning, so at that time, 14 line workers were sent to assist other power companies. She said they headed out to assist Green Mountain Power, but were redirected to the New Hampshire Electric Co-op.
In an interview on Friday, November 2, Gamache said the line crews were expected to complete that assignment over the weekend. After that they would reassess what would happen next, as far as further aid assignments.
Gamache said they definitely felt fortunate that damage was limited in this area, which made it easier to send crews to the harder hit areas.
Morristown Water & Light Manager Craig Myotte agreed Lamoille County was spared a lot of the damage.
“‘We dodged another bullet is how I would classify this event,” said Myotte.
He said they had a crew out from about 5 p.m. until midnight chasing outages. They sent out a crew to assist Washington Electric Co-op, and that crew ultimately wound up helping New Hampshire Co-op as well. Myotte said everyone was back by the end of the week.
One of the more dangerous moments from the storm resulted when a tree that hit a line caught fire on Bliss Hill Road. Myotte said it bears reminding people it is best to wait until power can be cut to put out a fire like that.