Hurricane Sandy has not even hit shore yet, but already it is causing serious damage on the Atlantic Coast. Rutland is expected to be one of the worst hit communities as the storm's impact is felt here over the next 24 hours.
A caravan of electrical crews from Canada rolled into Green Mountain Power headquarters early Monday afternoon.
"We're a little tired. We drove all day yesterday and drove this morning. We were at the boarder by about 7 and they were nice enough, let us through. They knew we were coming to help you guys so here we are," said Nick Gatien, a line worker with Powertel.
The Canadian company is one of many extra crews contracted by GMP. Others are coming from states as far away as Tennessee and Florida. "As long as they need us. We're down here to help out so however long they need us for and whenever they let us go I guess," Gatien said.
Travel by rail came to a screeching halt Sunday into Monday. In Rutland the trains to and from New York have stopped until further notice.
At the city garage about 400 sandbags were being filled as fast as possible. They would have been filled last Friday but high demand had already emptied the supply company's shelves. "We're going to have several hundred sandbags here that we can deploy when and where we need to," said Dave Sears with Rutland Public Works.
Bag stacking already started around noon in areas typically prone to flooding. A lesson in preparedness -- public works officials learned from the Noricane in 2007 and from Irene. "Every storm is different, every event is different. But I think we have a better handle on being ready for pretty much anything that comes to us at this point," Sears said.
All was quiet at Rutland High School. Erring on the side of caution, the decision to close school was made Sunday night. "When we can decide the night before we try to do that so families can make arrangements for transportation, for childcare, for safety of the children. And being able to decide that last night gave families that opportunity," said Rutland City Superintendent Mary Moran.
Moran said schools in Rutland will most likely be closed again Tuesday, but once the storm has subdued school will be back open even though the high school's gym may turn into a shelter if the Lahey center at the hospital is maxed out. Moran said just like during Irene, the shelter will be in the gym but classes will go on as scheduled.
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