Vermont Electric Power Company, or VELCO, says that someone shot at its transmission lines in Concord, damaging 105 out of 426 insulators. VELCO spokesman Kerrick Johnson calls the act "dangerous," and predicts it will lead to higher electric rates throughout New England. "These lines are frequently called upon to carry 10% of New England’s load," Johnson said. "We have had to power them down and are now using generators that are much more expensive to run."
Johnson estimates the damage at $250,000. He says destroying insulators is dangerous, but that no one was at risk from the mountain top shooting except, perhaps, for the shooter or shooters. VELCO discovered the damage early this morning while doing a helicopter assessment of possible damage from super storm Sandy.
Johnson said the investigation will involve federal law enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security.