Long shift for storm response - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Long shifts for storm response

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Rain-battered state roads in the hardest hit areas of Underhill and Jericho are re-open to traffic, but that doesn't mean the work is done for crews.

"It's been a very challenging two-day event here so far an it continues to be challenging for us." said Dave Blackmore.

Dave Blackmore is a regional manager for Vtrans. He has about 80 men on shift, but if the rain accelerates, even that won't be enough.

"We can deal with the rain we have right now, we would not want to see two, three, four inches of rain come down like it did before, would probably paralyze some of these areas we've worked on." adds Blackmore.

He says some towns already face damage totals of more than two-million dollars, and the state's road repair bill for the area likely sits between 250 and 500-thousand dollars.

"Our first response is to get out, the work done and then we figure out where the money's coming from afterwards." said Blackmore.

The rain isn't just eroding roadways, it's also creating problems along waterways.

Green Mountain Power spokesperson Robert Dostis said Saturday, "The good news is we look at our hydro-electric dams and the water level is lower than it was at our peak yesterday"

Green Mountain Power operates more than 30 dams across the state.

But with river levels dropping, company spokespeople say they're most concerned by the potential for high-elevation snowfall reaching Vermont's valleys.

"We could see widespread outages if that were to happen." said Dostis.

GMP spokespeople urge caution - citing soft ground, and trees potentially weighted down by new leaves and snow as a dangerous mix.

Blackmore adds that care is also need where they've already cleaned up as well -- as continued rain could rinse away some of their progress. 

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