Southern Vermont continues to dig out from nor’easter

Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT
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BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (WCAX) - Thousands remain in the dark in parts of southern Vermont after a multi-day nor’easter took down trees, blocking roads and taking down power lines. As of Thursday afternoon, upwards of 9,000 customers in Windham and Windsor Counties were without power. Crews continue working around the clock to turn the lights back on but some roads remain blocked.

The mild temperatures Thursday were a stark contrast to the nor’easter that rolled through the region. And while normality was returning to downtown Brattleboro, people say they are still feeling the effects of the storm.

The cows need to be milked at the Lilac Ridge Farm in West Brattleboro regardless of what Mother Nature has caused. After losing power Tuesday morning, the farm has been operating on a generator for the past two days.

“Challenging storm,” said the farm’s Ross Thurber. “Milking, water, cleaning -- those are the primary things. And cooling.”

Just down the hill, line crews were hard at work restoring electricity to affected homes. The higher the elevation, the more snow fell. And all that heavy, wet snow took its toll on trees and power lines. “The town of Brattleboro got a decent amount of snow. We received about 30 inches. And as you continue up the hill at about 1,500 feet, they received about 40 inches,” Thurber said.

There was still no getting through the Hinesburg Road in Brattleboro Thursday because a tree took down a line with it. The local public works department was waiting on the utility crews to make the road passable.

“Safety is number one,” said Brattleboro Town Manager John Potter, who has been on the job for a little over two months. He says coordination is the most important part of dealing with this type of weather event. “We’ve had the Red Cross, Brattleboro High School, all of the departments in the town, DPW, police, fire have all been coordinating super well.”

Green Mountain Power brought in an additional 500 tree and line crews to help in the effort. So far, 80,000 thousand customers have been brought back online.

Thurber is also hopeful his lights will be back on soon. “We know that the power crews are doing their best and hopefully they will prioritize rural businesses as well,” he said.

The Gibson Aiken Center will be open in Brattleboro Friday so people can come in and charge their phones if needed.

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