Storm topples trees, takes down power lines
Flights, trains, buses, classes among the cancellations triggered by the wild weather.
SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The storm sent trees toppling down on top of cars and power lines creating a mess in South Burlington Friday morning. And one of the biggest concerns Friday is power outages.
At the New King Church just off Williston Road in South Burlington, crews at the scene said a tree came down just after 8 a.m., taking down power lines and crashing into a car parked nearby.
Over on Millham Court, one resident says he woke up to a loud crash.
“Well, we’re kind of pinned in a little bit because of the power line that’s down, but we’ll get by. We’re not too worried. We’re Vermonters,” said Michael Leopold of South Burlington.
He says the tree also ripped the lines off of his house, leaving him and his family in the dark since 6:30 a.m.
If you had a flight scheduled out of the Burlington International Airport on Friday, make sure you check your listings. Most flights to JFK and LaGuardia from the Burlington airport are canceled.
Airport leaders say they’re still working to keep planes taking off and landing.
“This is a little bit of a different weather pattern that we’re seeing. We’re seeing a pretty cold temperature out there right now. We’re gonna see a pretty high rise in temperature a lot of rain, and then an immediate cold snap right, right through the holidays, which is very tricky for our operations. So we’re gonna be here 24/7. We’re gonna make sure that flights can safely operate in and out of BTV,” said Nic Longo, with the Burlington Airport.
Longo says things appear to be running smoothly with TSA’s new security screening devices. But WCAX is still waiting on data to show how effective the machines have been since they were installed a few months ago.
On the rails, the concern about falling trees caused Amtrak to cancel all trains scheduled to run in and out of Vermont on Friday.
BUS SERVICE CANCELED, CHANGED
Bus service also fell victim to the storm.
In Vermont, Green Mountain Transit said it had to make a number of cancellations, detours and service changes, and planned to suspend service at 5 p.m.
In the North Country, Clinton County Public Transit planned to close down operations as of 1 p.m. due to the weather conditions.
POWER OUTAGE PROMPTS WINOOSKI SCHOOLS TO CLOSE
Students were being sent home from school in Winooski on Friday.
The Winooski School District said on social media that the power went out around 9 a.m., so parents were asked to go and pick up their children as soon as possible.
SHELTERS TO OPEN
Meanwhile, state leaders opened the emergency operations center in Waterbury on Friday. Their goal is to help coordinate with utility crews, as they work to address outages.
Erica Bornemann, Vermont’s emergency management director, says while many may be in holiday mode already, it’s important to remember the impacts that significant weather can have on travel plans.
Bornemann says they will open regional shelters or warming centers for the hardest hit areas.
“We’ll be looking primarily at sheltering needs, addressing the needs of folks that will be without power for multiple days on end, said Bornemann. “Assessing sheltering needs, where shelters need to be set up and or warming centers and making sure Vermonters know where those are.”
You can visit Vermont Emergency Management’s website or call 211 to find a location.
MILTON SHELTER PLANS
In Milton, the community of 12,000 has a plan in case people need a place to stay warm.
“I think it’s too early to tell. We will have our emergency operation center setup, the public safety director will be coordinating with the state to set up a shelter... it would be at the Milton High School if it is opened,” Milton Town Manager Don Turner said.
Turner said Friday morning there were up to 3,000 people in Milton without power. But a big section of the village had its power restored late Friday morning.
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