Power still out for many Washington Electric Co-op customers 5 days later
EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - It has been five days since more than 1,000 Washington Electric Co-op customers lost power. I spoke to one family who did their best to keep up the Christmas spirit and said the community has been there every step of the way to help.
Robert Brown and his family have been without power since Friday morning.
They have since been able to turn the generator on to get some heat into their East Montpelier house, thanks to quick help from community members.
“I had four people over here on Christmas taking time away from their families to get our house turned on,” Brown said.
Brown was initially told to expect at least a week without power.
“They are all degrees of annoyance but in the grand scheme of things, it could always be worse. So, I know those guys are working, those girls are working around the clock to try to figure out what’s happening,” he said.
Washington Electric still had more than 1,000 customers without power as of Tuesday, around 10% of their customers.
Washing Electric Co-op General Manager Louis Porter said it’s incredibly frustrating to still have outages, but the storm had winds from unusual directions that knocked down large old trees in areas they normally would have no issues.
“We’re working to restore power as quickly as we can. All of the Washington Electric crews are on and we’ve doubled our workforce by bringing crews in from outside,” Porter said.
Porter said they expect the majority of remaining customers to regain power Wednesday, but that it could still be days for some of the more rural customers with complex situations caused by extremely high winds.
“As we get farther along, we get into the more difficult repairs, the more difficult restorations,” he said. “We also get into those areas where there are fewer houses, so each repair brings fewer people back with electricity.”
While many are still waiting for the power to come back on, Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, said in a statement: “Vermonters really stepped up, as usual, to help their neighbors. It’s one of the things that makes Vermont such a special place. And we’re going to stay focused on this until the job is done.”
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