Hurricane Irene updates

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first_imgCVPS Aug. 30, 2011, noon ‘Entire lines have disappeared’CVPS says completely new systems to be built in some locationsLine crews across central and southern Vermont are building completely new lines ‘ often in new locations ‘ as they work to restore power in the hardest-hit areas. ‘We normally would rebuild lines where they previously stood, but in town after town, that’s no longer an option because roads are gone and the soil has washed away completely,’ said Bill Jakubowski, CVPS’s coordinator of capital construction and right-of-ways.  ‘The old locations, in many cases, are simply not an option.’ CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said customers in many areas will see new lines in new places over the coming days.  ‘Typically we’d have extensive discussion about the location of new power lines, but our focus right now has to be on getting service back to every community we can reach as quickly as possible,’ Costello said.  ‘This is not business as usual. Entire lines have disappeared.’ Costello said where possible the company is conferring with local officials, but in some cases CVPS will simply have to build the lines where they can find access routes.  CVPS employees will be out surveying new lines today and in the coming days in advance of construction.Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: is external) and is external)MEDIA ADVISORY: Press Conference Scheduled WHO: Governor Peter Shumlin; Senator Bernie Sanders; Representative Peter Welch; Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate. WHAT: Press Conference WHERE: Burlington International Airport WHEN: 4 pm, Tuesday August 30. BURLINGTON, Vt. ‘ Governor Peter Shumlin, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Peter Welch will greet Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate at the Burlington International Airport at 11:30 a.m., tour the storm-damaged areas of the state via helicopter with Fugate, and return to the Burlington airport for a press conference at 4 pm, Army Aviation Facility, 142 Shamrock Drive, South Burlington.  Governor Shumlin will be visiting the communities of Pittsfield (approximately 2:45 p.m.), Stockbridge (approximately 3:45 p.m.) and Rochester (approximately 4:25 p.m.) this afternoon. In addition, Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding and emergency officials will hold a press briefing to update on events at 4:30 p.m. at the Vermont Emergency Management operations center, now located in the FEMA offices in Burlington. Here is the most recent updates from various sources regarding the aftermath of Hurrican Irene, including emergency management action and news from some of the state’s electric utilities. Governor’s Office. August 31, 2011, 2 pm: CVPS Aug. 30, 2011 ‘ 7 a.m. updateIrene Restoration Day 2: More than 51,000 of the 70,000 customer outages restoredCVPS performs helicopter assessmentThousands will still be out for days, possibly weeks due to inaccessible roads Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: is external) and is external) As CVPS engineers and transmission supervisors performed helicopter flyovers Monday to assess the damage from the air, crews assisted by hundreds of outside line and tree contractors restored more than 51,000 of the more than 70,000 CVPS customer outages from Hurricane Irene. About 19,400 CVPS customers are without power this morning. CVPS support staff continued to work with state emergency management officials and the Vermont Agency of Transportation to develop travel and road work strategies to access customers. Route 4, East of Rutland on Monday. Photo: CVPSAn emergency bypass where Route 4 was washed out in Mendon will be completed today. Construction contractors worked through the night on the road. In cooperation with the Agency of Transportation, CVPS hired Belden Construction to build the emergency bypass, which will be available only to utility and emergency vehicles and will be monitored by law enforcement. A more permanent repair will require substantial planning and construction by the state.  Devastation is extensive across the CVPS system. A handful of examples among the dozens of major issues include: The near destruction of the Rochester Substation. Royalton Operations Supervisor Ben Bemis had to ride an off-road motorcycle to the site, which was inaccessible to trucks.  ‘The fence is gone, the transformer has been undermined, and debris is scattered all over the place,’ Bemis said.  ‘It’s looking pretty sad.’Numerous sections of Route 107 in Bethel virtually disappeared. The White River flooding took out numerous poles and hundreds of feet of line.The loss of a key bridge on Route 73 between Goshen and Rochester.  One end of the bridge supports washed out, dropping the span into the water below.  ‘The Route 73 bridge looks like a boat ramp going down into the river,’ Bemis said.The loss of not only dozens of utility poles, but the scouring of all of the soil that held the poles up.  Springfield Operations Supervisor Ed Whittemore said in many cases, even if the road existed, there is no soil left to install new poles.Projects that will entail the complete reconstruction of entire sections of the utility system.  In Jamaica, for example, crews were able to feed the center of the village through a backfeed, but the lines heading in both directions from the village center were washed away. In Wardsboro, Brattleboro Operations Supervisor Dave Miller said they found one washout that included five utility poles, but workers couldn’t go any further because the road was gone.  ‘God only knows what washouts there are beyond that one,’ Miller said.Up-to-date outage numbers (by town) can be found at: is external) and is external) FEMA to Deliver Aid to VermontFEMA Distribution Center to be Established at Camp Johnson Monday, 10:30 pm: Thirty Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) trucks carrying emergency supplies are scheduled to arrive in Vermont tonight to provide aid for the thousands of Vermonters affected by Hurricane Irene.FEMA vehicles, carrying supplies such as food, blankets and other necessary items, will be establishing a distribution center at Camp Johnson in Colchester. From there, the relief supplies will be distributed to the Vermont communities in greatest need starting at sunrise on Tuesday, August 30.  Some communities are unreachable by roadways, so helicopters will be dispatched to distribute those supplies. National Guard will distribute the supplies to the communities reachable by land. ‘Our goal is to reach all Vermonters who have been affected by the storm and find themselves in need at this time,’ said Gov. Peter Shumlin.  ‘We are utilizing all available resources ‘ local, state and federal ‘ to get commodities to those in need.’ ‘This identified objective of commodity distribution is consistent with the Governor’s goal of assuring the safety and stability of all Vermonters affected by this storm,’ said Department of Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn, ‘and is done with the cooperation of our federal, state and local partners.’ Officials ask the public not to come to Camp Johnson to pick up supplies but to wait for their distribution on Tuesday morning.  VTrans Announces Road Openings Montpelier, VT 8/29/11 21:00 ‘ The Vermont Agency of Transportation announces maintenance workers have restored travel on several roadways, including: Route 140 in the East Wallingford area, Route 302 in the Groton area (open to one lane only) Route 100 south of Waitsfield (open to local traffic only), Route 12 between Bethel and Randolph, and Route 17 in the Starksboro area (tractor trailers are not recommended). Waters have receded on the Battenkill River and VT 7A in the Town of Arlington is also open for traffic.  In addition, US 7 between Arlington and Manchester is opened now to two-way traffic.  Route 7 in  Brandon and Rutland still has closed areas, but traffic (excluding tractor trailers) can detour around the closed areas. VTrans has also hired four contractors to begin expedited work needed to address the washouts across VT9 between Marlboro and Brattleboro.  Work also began on a portion of VT9 this evening and more work will commence tomorrow. The VTrans district crews are working hard to get resources in place to begin the repair work on all damaged roads and bridges across Vermont.  Priority is being given to re-establishing access to several towns that are cut off due to downed infrastructure. VTrans will continue to notify the press as roads and bridges are being opened, and update the is external) map as well. GMP As of 9 pm on Monday, Green Mountain Power had 1,154 outages, down from 12,000 last night. Crews will be working into the night to restore power. We expect to restore power to all customers  by the end of the day Tuesday, with the exception of those customers who experienced flooding and need electrical inspections before their power can be reconnected. About 150 of the outages were in southern Vermont, while the remainder were in Chittenden, Addison, Washington and Orange counties. Current numbers are available at is external). Vermont Emergency Management as of 4:30 MondayEfforts continue around Vermont to clean up and dry out after Sunday’s flooding.  State officials have spent the day ensuring the safety of citizens, assessing damage, and beginning repairs wherever possible. Vermont State Police now say three people have been killed and one is missing as a result of the storm.  A female was killed in the Deerfield River in Wilmington; a man was killed in Mendon after being swept away by floodwaters and his son is still missing and feared dead.  A male in his 40s was found dead in Lake Rescue in Ludlow earlier today. Floodwaters have receded, but most rivers and streams remain above normal levels, and some are still dangerous in many areas.  Vermont officials recommend staying away from rivers that are still high and flowing rapidly.  You should stay out of all floodwaters because of pollutants or debris. Motorists are still encouraged to stay off roadways as many are unsafe and what roads are open are needed by emergency responders, road crews, and utility crews. Road closures are still too numerous to list.  Please call 511 or visit is external) for updated road closures.  The public is asked to NOT call 211 for road closures ‘ those calls are hampering 211’s ability to help those who need shelter or other resources. State Police also ask that you only call 911 if you have an emergency. Around 35,000 power customers are without service.  Restoring power may be slowed for some utilities because of road conditions, so patience will be necessary. Before returning to your flooded home, you must have a licensed electrician inspect your electrical system.  Wet wiring can cause electrocution. Red Cross shelters:Brattleboro ‘ Brattleboro Union High SchoolHartford ‘ Hartford High SchoolBarre ‘ Barre AuditoriumRutland ‘ Rutland High SchoolBennington ‘ Mount Anthony Middle SchoolSpringfield ‘ Springfield High School There are still local shelters, call your community offices for information. Vermont Emergency Management will operate its Emergency Operations Center at the FEMA offices in Burlington at least until the end of the week.  Contact information for the media is 802-951-2708.  The VEM e-mail server is also down; a temporary e-mail address for the press to contact the information office is sends e-mail) .Killington Mountain School Monday nightIrene slammed Vermont with mind-numbing force on Sunday, and Killington is among the areas still cut off from the state highway system.  Pedestrian traffic to Rutland is possible, but vehicles are not currently allowed through.  Route 100 is washed out at numerous points between Killington and Stockbridge and at numerous points further north.  It is also washed out between Killington and Ludlow.  Route 4 between Killington and Woodstock is treacherous at best and passage has been restricted to emergency vehicles.  The Ramshead, Snowshed, and KBL base facilities at Killington received significant storm impact.This may seem like a dire report, but the reality for many of us is far brighter.  KMS did not sustain any wind or water damage during Irene and power returned mid-day Monday after dropping out at 10 p.m. Sunday night.  We consider ourselves lucky to have running water when many in town do not.  With working Internet and cable connections, we are able to stay connected with the outside world.Through those connections, and through travel within the bubble that contains Killington, we know that we are lucky.  Many families have suffered serious losses; I spoke with a women in Stockbridge who had watched her neighbors’ house wash off its foundation and go downstream.  Josef Podnecky, a former KMS chef, lost portions of his roof and some of his tools as the floodwaters surrounded his house; he may have also lost crops due to contamination from the floodwaters.  News reports indicate that the death toll in Vermont has reached three, with another person missing and feared dead.With the devastation around us, we do not plan to open for the ninth-month program as scheduled on September 6.  Instead, we plan to open on September 12, at which point we hope the repair crews’who have been hard at work since the storm struck’will have been able to restore access to the Killington area.  We hope that all of you have come safely through the storm, and we hope that those of you joining us for the ninth-month program will be ready to begin on Monday, September 12.For those of you in the area, if you are safe and your immediate needs are met, please consider volunteering to help with Irene cleanup efforts.  All indications are that as roads open, more opportunities to help will present themselves; has been set up as a clearinghouse for those in need of help and those able to provide it.  If you are in the Killington “island” and need assistance, please contact me at KMS; we do currently have power as well as working vehicles and will do what we can.  Our landline phones are currently down; my cell has intermittent service (802.324.8307) and email has been the most reliable source of communication ( sends e-mail)).For further updates on KMS, the Killington region, and the Vermont response to Irene, please keep an eye on our Facebook page as well as these other resources:Vermont 511’travel information from the Vermont AOTVermont Today’a Rutland Herald blog#vtirene on TwitterThe #VTResponse blog and #vtresponse on Twitter’providing information on ways you can help Vermonters recover from Irenelast_img read more