Wind storm rips through Addison County

ADDISON COUNTY — High-speed winds ripped through the county last Wednesday, knocking down trees and limbs and leaving thousands of residents without power.
The storm also left a number of damaged homes in its wake and led to at least one serious auto accident.
Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS) reported that more than 20,000 of its customer’s statewide had lost power — 3,700 in Addison County.
As of Thursday morning, 2,900 county residents were still without power. Residents in Bristol, Lincoln, Middlebury, New Haven, Goshen, Ripton and Orwell were hit the hardest. Salisbury Community School cancelled classes Thursday, and Ripton Elementary experienced a two-hour delay — both due to power outages.
“Addison County took a huge hit Wednesday,” CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers said on Thursday. “One of our workers in the field in Lincoln yesterday said he was patrolling a line from the road … and (when he turned around) the road was blocked behind him, as three trees had just come down. In Brandon, yesterday morning before the real winds even hit, it sounded like an airport outside my house.”
Even on Friday, 775 homes in Rutland and Addison counties were still without power, though utility officials expected to get them online that day.
“Crews and support staff have been working 16- to 18-hour shifts around the clock since Wednesday morning, and will keep working until our last customers are restored,” CVPS vice president Joe Kraus said.
In Bristol, Town Manager Bill Bryant reported that two trees blew over on the Town Green and that power outages were scattered all over town. The road crew and fire department in Bristol worked Wednesday evening to clear broken limbs from streets and to close off areas where power lines had come down.
“Our own town clerk’s house was out, and she’s down on Lower Notch Road,” Bryant said on Friday morning. “We also had a couple pieces of slate or tin come off a couple roofs, but overall we fared pretty well.”
Monkton, too, was hit hard by the storm, with winds reported at 60 mph. Roofs were ripped off barns at residences on and around Mountain Road, windows were blown out and trees were felled.
Monkton Road resident Charlie Huizenga, who went on a tour of the damages around town on Thursday morning, reported injuries to both barns and homes.
“Pete Aube had all of the windows on his porch blow out,” Huizenga said. “The Cutter brothers lost the tin roofs on both barns, and the rest is mostly tin roofs and one big tree on a house.”
Huizenga estimated that about 10 homes in the Monkton area were damaged by the storm.
On Wednesday morning, rain and very high winds caused a tree to fall on the hood of the vehicle on Route 116 in Bristol, injuring the passenger.
Bristol resident Nancy James, 40, had to be extricated from the 1997 Ford Taurus station wagon by a heavy rescue squad and transported to Porter Hospital with leg and internal injuries, according to Vermont State Police. Driver Ricky Devoid of Bristol did not sustain any injuries.
As Devoid was headed south on Route 116 just north of the Middlebury town line around 8:40 a.m. on Wednesday, a tree from the west side of the road fell on top of the hood of his car, which sustained massive front-end damage, causing both airbags to deploy and trapping James, who was in the passenger seat.
James was reported to be in stable condition at Porter on Friday morning.
To aid those affected by the storm, the Northern Vermont Chapter of the American Red Cross opened a shelter in the Hinesburg Town Hall on Route 116 on Thursday evening.
Red Cross Disaster Services volunteers operated the facility, which provided food and shelter for Vermont residents whose homes were still without power.
Tamara Hilmes is at [email protected].

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