As a monster snow storm approached New York, Vermont's largest utility dispatched personnel to be in place and ready to assist with power restoration if expected snow totals cause outages.
Green Mountain Power said it sent 50 line workers, mechanics, and other personnel to Long Island, along with trucks and equipment, when forecasts showed the mega-storm was expected to bring crippling amounts of snow to New York and much of the mid-Atlantic.
"Hopefully, it won't be as bad as they say, but if it is, we're going to be there, and we'll be ready to help," Glenn Johnson, one of the deploying Green Mountain Power workers, told necn. "My wife knows this could happen, as well as the other guys' wives--they know when we get called, we have to respond."
The latest news from around the state
GMP said utilities from New York City to the nation's capital have requested nearly 700 support workers from power companies not affected by the storm. The Vermont crews will initially assist PSE&G Long Island, but then could be available to other utilities as the storm progresses, the company said.
"A lot of times, when a storm socks the northeast, we can't send crews to help because we need to focus on our customers," noted Kristin Carlson of Green Mountain Power. "But because this storm is not predicted to hit Vermont, that's what's allowing us to help our neighboring state, and we're really happy to be able to do it and pay it forward."
Green Mountain Power knows how beneficial help from outside crews can be. Crews from other states and Canada have responded to help restore power for several major outage events, including during the nasty ice storm of 1998, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and in heavy, wet snow that caused widespread outages in mid-December 2014.