Power outages send Vermonters to shelters - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Power outages send Vermonters to shelters

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FAIRFAX, Vt. -

It's a picturesque but potentially deadly scene as trees across Northern Vermont continue to bend and buckle under the weight of the weekend ice storm.

A man lost his life earlier this week when toxic fumes from a gas generator collected inside his Albany home.

Crews restored power to the vast majority of those who lost it during the Saturday storm, but those on Perley Road in Enosburgh may have to wait until after Christmas to get the lights back on.

"I compare it to winter camping," Jerry Bowers said.

Bowers has no electricity after a pole outside his house snapped. He has heat in one room, but his breath his visible in the kitchen. He pumps water by hand and plans on staying until the lights come back on, but those plans might change if the temperature in and outside of his house keeps plummeting.

"If it's one night of ten below zero we can get through it; if it's extended nights it's going to be more difficult," Bowers said.

"When I had put on so many layers of clothes and I had stacked like six blankets on top of me and I'm sitting there shivering so bad my teeth are just chattering, and it's like-- that's it. We gotta find shelter," Candace Adams said.

Adams moved her family into the Enosburgh emergency shelter Monday night. Many of her neighbors joined her, but now she's the only one on her street unable to go back-- and it's her anniversary.

"I always said I wanted to go away for my anniversary. I love you guys, but this is not the way I wanted to spend it," she said.

Whether they're riding out the cold or waiting out the thaw in a shelter, those affected by the storm say the weather changed their wish list.

"To actually go home and celebrate Christmas and be warm, to be actually home for the holidays," Adams said.

"We've been talking about getting a generator but just never have... And we probably will," Bowers said.

Reporter Kyle Midura: That going to jump to the top of your Christmas list?

Jerry Bowers: I think so.

In addition to the shelter at BFA-Fairfax, emergency shelters are set up at the elementary school in Highgate, the high school in Enosburgh, North Country High School in Newport and at the Barton Village Office. Enosburgh has been the busiest with seven staying overnight and 30 out-of-state line crews expected to join them Christmas Eve.

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