Superstorm fizzles in Addison County, other Vermonters lose power

Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 31, at 8:45 a.m.
ADDISON COUNTY — Hurricane Sandy, demoted to a post-tropical cyclone designation before it hit the state, blew through Vermont late Monday night and early Tuesday morning leaving clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid-60s in its wake, and Addison County residents relatively unscathed.
Power outages and road closures due to fallen trees were anticipated, and power crews from as far away as Missouri rolled into Vermont in the early hours of Monday morning to help with the anticipated cleanup.
Classes were cancelled on Tuesday in all Addison County schools, and Middlebury College cancelled evening classes and activities on Monday.
But the high winds of up to 80 mph that weather forecasters had predicted would hit the western slopes of the Green Mountains did not materialize in Addison County. The highest winds recorded were 61 mph winds in Lincoln, according to Green Mountain Power spokesman Jeremy Baker.
Addison County did not experience a single road closure throughout the storm. Temporary road closures were reported in Windham and Chittenden counties on Monday night, but road crews cleared the way before morning. A stretch of Interstate 89 was closed for a short time Monday night due to downed power lines.
In Middlebury, Police Chief Tom Hanley said that officers were out all Monday night checking up on places that are typically at risk when rising waters occur, including the Route 116 corridor and areas around Otter Creek.
“We are getting zero reports of damage,” Hanley said.
He said his department would  continue to monitor the Middlebury River and Otter Creek for the next few days. The former is fed from the Green Mountains and the latter is fed from the southern part of the state, where rainfall was much heavier.
Hanley advised people to exercise caution around those areas, and to report any dangerous situations to Middlebury police at 388-3191.
While news reports put the number of people without power across the Eastern seaboard at 7 million or more, power outages in Vermont were less widespread, with the majority in the four southern counties.
Green Mountain Power, the state’s largest utility, said on Tuesday morning just 16 Addison County customers were without service. By 10 a.m. on Wednesday GMP was reporting only three outages in Addison County — two in Bristol and one in Salisbury.
Statewide, 43,155 GMP customers lost power during the storm. By Wednesday morning crews had restored service to all but 1,732 customers.
GMP’s Baker said crews had worked through Monday night to make repairs.
“Thanks to the massive work force we were able to bring to bear, we were able to clean up a lot of areas over night,” he said. “As a result, we’re moving dozens of crews from areas that have been cleaned up to help restore service in the hardest-hit areas.”

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