Vt. Prepares As Hurricane Heads North

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(Host) Hurricane Irene is likely to be a tropical storm by the time it hits Vermont. But officials say they’re still prepared for damage.

VPR’s Ross Sneyd reports.

(Sneyd) Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermonters shouldn’t be complacent just because Irene will be weaker in northern New England.

(Shumlin) "Our hope is prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But we’re in for a significant ride here and obviously we’re asking Vermonters to use good common sense and to ensure that they do a few things to prepare."

(Sneyd) Shumlin says that includes getting extra food and water, and preparing for potentially days-long power outages.

(Shumlin) "Be prudent and cautious. Don’t drive into standing water because we could be in for an extraordinary amount of rain and flooding."

(Sneyd) The state’s utilities say they’re prepared. Christine Rivers of Central Vermont Public Service says they’re putting crews on standby to repair damage.

(Rivers) "As you can imagine, utilities on the East Coast re holding their crews. They’re holding their own crews. They’re all anticipating damage, too. At this point we will be bringing crews in from as far away as Illinois, Missouri, Texas and Canada."

(Sneyd) Utilities warn people to stay away from downed lines – and anything the lines might be touching. And they also say people should call if their power’s out, even if they assume someone else already has.

For VPR News, I’m Ross Sneyd.


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