It could be days or weeks before all Vt. homes get power
Burlington, Vermont - August 29, 2011
Irene's rain and strong winds also knocked out power to tens of thousands of people across the state.
As of 5 p.m. Monday the hardest his area was Windsor County where more than 13,000 homes were without power. Next was Rutland with more than 8,000. In Orange County 4,500 are without power. And in Windham outages are just under 3,000.
Utility officials say it could be days or even weeks before they get to everyone, simply because there are so many road closures and so many communities that are isolated.
"We started the day with about 5,000 of our members without power-- we have about 200 line personnel on staff and on hand that are working to restore power. So we expect to make significant progress today," said Liz Gamache of the Vermont Electric Co-op.
VEC-- which services parts of northern Vermont-- has 200 crews working to restore power to about 5,000 homes. Other utility crews from across the country have joined in the restoration efforts.
"We've been relying on additional crews that have come in from as far as Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, Tennessee to help us out. We have our VEC staff fully deployed. But it's great in times like this when we can count on crews from other parts of the country to come in and give us a hand," Gamache said.
VEC says once those crews are done they hope they can move on to the harder hit areas in southern Vermont.
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