"That old building has never moved in the wind before, but this was a different deal," said Erwin Atwood.
Atwood says he still can't believe how much damage a Sunday evening storm did to his barn. He estimates the storm rolled into Proctor around 4:30 p.m., and with gusts of wind up to 58 miles per hour, the building was literally blown off the cement foundation. "It was terrible wind -- terrible. And thunder and rain just terribly hard. And it was black -- it was almost like it was night. The lights flickered a lot in the house and then we heard a crash, but we couldn't even see it until things let up. We came out, and there it is," Atwood said.
But Atwood was only one of thousands across Rutland County impacted by the severe storm. Green Mountain Power estimates the abrupt but intense storm left 9,000 customers in the dark. Although nearly all of those outages have been fixed, GMP warns that more heavy winds and rains are expected, and having power isn't always the most important thing. "One really important thing is safety -- always safety. Particularly a storm like this where tree limbs are blowing around, they bring down power lines. If you see a line on the ground, you cannot tell by looking at it whether it's live, so it's very important to keep people away because a live power line could kill you," said GMP's Dottie Schnure.
And safety concerns didn't end with downed power lines. The sudden dumping of rain caused Rutland City officials to worry about flash flooding. Within just a short amount of time several roads -- including Baxter street -- were covered in water.
But Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras, says the state purchased a water barrier several years ago, to prevent the downtown from flooding -- during storms just like the one on Sunday. "It essentially creates an artificial portable dam that keeps the water out of the transit center and consequently out of the basements of the properties abutting the transit center," Mayor Louras said.
Back in Proctor, insurance adjusters will survey the damage to Atwood barn. He hopes his vehicles underneath the rubble can still be salvaged, and says he's just glad he and his wife are okay. "What can you do -- right?" he said.
Green Mountain Power says that they were able to bring in crews from all over the state to help clean up the damage after Sunday's storm. But the work doesn't stop there, GMP officials say they have serious concerns about the very real possibility of more storms in the near future that are just as severe or possibly even more so.
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