State of Vermont: 50,000 without power

first_imgMap as of 10 am Monday.Vermont officials were preparing to assess the damage from Sunday’s flooding as clean-up and recovery efforts begin Monday. The extent of damage to roads, bridges, homes and businesses caused by the remnants of Hurricane Irene was unknown but was expected to stretch from one end of Vermont to the other. As of Monday morning roughly 50,000 Vermont power customers were without service,and officials warned that impassable roads could make restoring electricity to all areas a lengthy process. Transportation officials reported that some 263 roads had been impacted to varying degrees and several bridges destroyed by the floodwaters; a map of affected roads can be viewed at: http://www.511vt.com/default.asp?area=VT_statewide(link is external) Nine Red Cross shelters had been set up around the state and more than two dozen towns had opened their own shelters, but the number of people displaced by the heavy rains and flooding was not immediately available. In Rutland, some 80 residents of two residential care facilities, the St. Joseph Kervick Residence and the Loretto Home, were temporarily being housed at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. Patients in some areas of the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury were relocated within the grounds after flood waters rose into the Vermont State Office Complex next to the Winooski River. That flooding in Waterbury Village also forced Vermont Emergency Management to relocate the state’s Emergency Operations Center to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s temporary offices in Burlington. ‘We were fortunate to have a place that met our technological and logistical needs so close,’ Vermont Emergency Operations Center Manager Chris Reinfurt said. ‘We were able to restore the EOC to operation in a couple of hours.’ FEMA officials, who have been in the state since June helping Vermont recover from heavy rains and flooding earlier this spring, had been working with their state counterparts in the days leading up to Sunday’s heavy rains and were slated to take part in damage assessments. One fatality in Vermont has been attributed to the storm; police confirmed they had recovered a body from the Deerfield River in Wilmington Sunday evening, where a woman had been washed away by floodwaters earlier and feared drowned. Officials warned Vermonters to be careful of downed power lines and always assume they are live and report them to authorities. They also cautioned against driving through standing water.VTrans Areas of Vermont are still under water but rivers are now receding. Much of the state is starting to dry out but there are still many hazards and the public is encouraged to exercise caution.  Everyone is asked to stay off roads unless absolutely necessary.  Many roads are still damaged, and many may be washed out under the road surface and could give away at any time. A number of towns are asking that all traffic stay away, please respect detours and all road closures. See map and list below. Local road closures are too many to list.  It is estimated more than 250 roads around the state are damaged, many of them are impassable.  Every state road with the exception of Interstates 89 and 91 were closed at least for a time and many are still closed. Transportation and emergency officials are out today ensuring citizens are accounted for, assessing damage, and determining what areas are safe. All state offices are closed on Monday due to hazardous travel conditions. Homeowners should not return to a flooded home or turn on their circuit breaker until the electrical system has been inspected by a licensed electrician.  Wires could be wet and could lead to electrocution if not inspected. Around 50,000 power customers are without service.  Restoring power may be slowed for some utilities because of road conditions.  That is another reason to stay off the roads.  Power restoration will take some time, so patience will be necessary. The Vermont Fuel Dealers Association reports that ‘many service technicians are out chasing propane tanks that have been swept away in the floods. Homeowners with aboveground storage tanks should contact their propane provider immediately if their tank has moved from its foundation or if they smell gas.’ Those who need road conditions should call 511 or go to www.511vt.com(link is external) â ¦ do NOT call 211 for road conditions. There are currently six Red Cross shelters open: Brattleboro, VT ‘ Brattleboro Union High School ‘ Fairground RoadSpringfield, VT ‘ Springfield High School — 303 South StreetHartford, VT ‘ Hartford High School ‘ 37 Highland AvenueRutland, VT ‘ Rutland High School ‘ 22 Stratton RoadBarre, VT ‘ Barre AuditoriumSt. Johnsbury, VT ‘ The St. Johnsbury School ‘ 257 Western Avenue Vermont Emergency Management has moved its Emergency Operations Center to the FEMA offices in Burlington.  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 [email protected](link sends e-mail) .  The Vermont Agency of Transportation has been working throughout the night and continues today to assess road conditions along state infrastructure resulting from Hurricane Irene.  VTrans priority is to establish safe passage for travelers and is closing roads, when needed, and establishing safe detours.  VTrans urges members of the public to exercise extreme caution in navigating the State highway system.  If travel is not necessary, Vermonters are asked to stay home so emergency responders and road crews can conduct damage assessments to the State’s infrastructure.  There are State highway closures throughout the state, some State highway bridges are completely washed out, while others may be compromised.  It will be several days before State officials can inspect all of the State bridges impacted by the extreme flooding caused by hurricane Irene.  Roads may be undermined by the flooding and slope failures may still be occurring. State officials are assessing which communities may be cut off and what infrastructure needs to be repaired first in order that power crews may gain access to down power lines and transformers. While the Vermont Agency of Transportation knows about the closures to the State highway system, town road closures are reported to Vermont Emergency Management.  The final number and location of all town roads and bridges that are closed or impassable is still unknown at this time.  The public is urged not to cross roadways with standing water.  VTrans Operations crews have been deployed since the beginning of the weather event working through the evening and are still on the job making repairs to the state system.  VTrans is deploying bridge inspection teams including teams from out of state and FEMA to inspect Vermont’s bridges.  It will be several days before all bridges, state and town can be inspected.   To receive the latest information on State road and bridge closures, the public can access the State 511 system at http://www.511vt.com/(link is external). Following are the state highway closures in effect as of 4 am.District OneRoute 7 south of ManchesterRoute 100/9 in ReadsboroRoute 100 north of WilmingtonRoute 9 in WilmingtonRoute 30 at Route 133 in PawletDistrict TwoRoute 30 at Newfane, Jamaica ‘ bridges outRoute 9 west of Brattleboro in area of Shell Station & Cumberland Farms.I-91 SB between Exits 5 and 6Route 5 in Rockingham ‘ bridge 39 underminingRoute 103 Chester at the new bridge 1 mile south of Route 11Route 131 in Cavendish near Chub HillRoute 11 in spots ‘ Chester ‘ Andover and Windham.Route 100 Jamaica near Route 30 IntersectionRoute 100 in WestonRoute 103 in ChesterRoute 100 in WardsboroDistrict 3Route 7 north of WallingfordRoute 4 east of RutlandRoute 7 north of RutlandRoute 100 LudlowRoute 144 East WallingfordRoute 103 Mount HollyRoute 100 between Route 4 and PittsfordRoute 73 between 53 and Route 100Route 7 near Route 73 in BrandonDistrict 4Route 4 in West WoodstockRoute 100 Granville GulfRoute 107 between Bethel and Route 100Route 12 between Route 4 and 107Route 12A in West BraintreeDistrict 5Route 116 between Route 125 and 17Route 125 between Route 116 and Route 100Route 17 between Route 116 and Huntington RoadI-89 in ColchesterRoute 2 JonesvilleDistrict 6Route 100 Moretown to WaitsfieldRoute 100BRoute 12 Berlin to RivertonRoute 12 WorcesterRoute 14 in WoodburyDistrict 7Route 5 north of St. JohnsburyRoute 302 in GrotonRoute 5 in LyndonvilleRoute 122 previously closed now openRoute 5A at Route 5 in West BurkeDistrict 8Route 118 previously closed now openRoute 105 between Enosburg and BerkshireRoute 242 west of Jay PeakDistrict 9Route 242 east of Jay PeakRoute 16 between I-91 and BartonRoute 105 between 114 and Lakeshore Drive near Island Pond Vermont Emergency Management. VTrans. 8.29.2011last_img read more

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