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Shumlin declares emergency ahead of storm - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Shumlin declares emergency ahead of storm

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WATERBURY, Vt. -

Werewolves aren't the only thing howling this Halloween week. Something else has been declared a force to be reckoned with.

"I've also declared with my fellow Northeast governors a state of emergency in Vermont,"  said Gov. Peter Shumlin, during a Sunday afternoon press conference.

Shumlin said that what is left of Hurricane Sandy is expected to whip through Vermont starting late Monday, with high winds up to 80 miles per hour. The State of Emergency designation allows the state to deploy National Guard and other military personnel if necessary and get federal reimbursements if the storm is more severe than expected. "I want to make it very clear that it is our judgement that this is not a storm like Irene -- it's a very different kind of storm. That's not to say it's not a serious storm," he said.

Shumlin said as of right now 200 electrical crews are on the ground with more to be expected as needed. "As we experience power outages and as the high winds go down we will be on the ground getting power back up for Vermonters that need to be reconnected," he said.

Along with being cautious of live wires and trees falling, Shumlin stressed the importance of eliminating debris and being as prepared as possible. "Bring in lawn furniture -- things that would blow around. Take down the political signs that are in your yards and put them back after this thing's over, but use good common sense in preparing for this," he said.

In 2007 Rutland experienced a similar storm with severe winds, and although Governor Shumlin said not to anticipate water levels like Irene -- expect the worst and hope for the best.

The Ace Hardware in South Burlington was seeking a brisk business Sunday with common items fly off the shelves, including batteries, lamps, plastic, and generators. The store rarely has generators for sale, but in the last 24 hours they've already sold out.  "Over the last 24 hours people are getting a little bit more antsy in regards to come in and get the product," said the store's Rowland Ostrout. "Definitely be prepared. Stay safe out there. All we can do is prepare the best we can."

"I want to emphasize -- we expect this storm to be a wind event, not a flooding event, and we'll get through it together," Shumlin said.

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