GMP responds to icing trouble spots - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

GMP responds to icing trouble spots

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The weekend ice storm that's blasted our region is creating all kinds of problems.

"Ice is very heavy because it builds up on the tree branches and causes a lot of damage all across the area where you have the ice build up," said Green Mountain Power's Dotty Schnure.

That build-up took down trees and power lines across the region and at one point left 32,000 Green Mountain Power Customers in the dark.  Monday GMP crews rolled out of headquarters with roughly 3-times its usual staff -- responding to trouble spots that included hard-hit Franklin County. "It is hard to predict because a variation of a couple of degrees means you would either get rain or light snow," Schnure said.

The pre-holiday freeze is also causing problems on the road. Plow driver Thomas Barnhart's been cleaning up after storms in Chittenden County for 25 years. He says this one hit hard. "This storm hasn't worked well, this one beat us I think," he said.

He says he would rather get walloped with the white stuff than deal with smaller amounts of ice and rain. "If you don't salt and you strip this stuff away you end up with ice and if you get too much of it, then you end up with too much ice, so it is hard to figure out," Barnhart said.

And while you may be chomping at the bit to chip away at your ice-covered trees and sidewalks, GMP is urging folks to steer clear of the power lines. "If someone is working with trees, they shouldn't be working with trees that have any kind of line tangled up in it -- or even a line through it -- they should really just stay far away from any electric line," Schnure said.
As for Barnhart, he's just hoping the next storm is more to his liking.  "I like it nice and fluffy and deep -- that's a lot of fun," he said.

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