Rutland hit hard by storm

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(Host) Central Vermont Public Service Corporation is calling today’s storm one of the 10 worst storms the utility has experienced.

The City of Rutland was hit the hardest and the downtown is without power.

Governor Jim Douglas has toured the area and the city’s emergency operations center has been activated.

CVPS, whose main office has been running on a generator today, said 41,000 customers were without power late this afternoon and it could be days before the lights will come on again.

The utility hopes to have power in Rutland City restored by Tuesday night.

High winds with gusts of more than 50 miles per hour took down trees and branches through the city.

Tony Bossi is the police chief.

(Bossi) “It’s been very hectic for the police department, and the fire and public works employees. The police department had about 60 calls for service. Most of the calls of service for us were trees, limbs, power lines down, and damage to homes.”

(Host) Motorists have been asked to stay off Rutland streets so the debris from fallen trees can be cleared up and the downed power lines can be repaired. However, Route 7 through Rutland City is clear and passable.

The Red Cross is helping to open shelters for those who need a place to stay. Information about housing or other emergency needs is available at 800-347-0488.

Mark Bosma is the spokesman for the Vermont Emergency Management. He describes the scope of the situation.

(Bosma) “I think it’s a relative certainty that people will be without power until at least Thursday, maybe into Friday or Saturday. I mean that sort of illustrates the scope of this, and the severity of it, and the power crews are doing all they can. Power companies that don’t have as many outages are lending their crews that do have heavy outages, and everyone’s working together on this trying to restore people as soon as possible.”

(Host) In Rutland County alone, 19,000 customers were without power this afternoon, although CVPS said that customers were affected in all of their districts.

Emergency officials advise everyone not touch downed power lines.

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