Ferocious winds caused widespread damage and power outages across Vermont.
"I never want to see this repeated again," said Ruthann Kempton of Colchester, who woke up Monday to find her car crushed underneath fallen tree limbs.
Part of Kempton’s porch was also ruined by a falling tree.
Kempton was one of an estimated one-third of all Vermonters statewide who were impacted by power outages, following strong winds overnight that reached about 60 miles per hour in the Burlington area.
Residents told necn the winds felt relentless for parts of the early morning hours Monday.
The utility Green Mountain Power said it brought in extra line crews from Canada, but the damage is so extensive, many could be in the dark for days.
"It will take us well to the end of the week to get power restored," warned Dottie Schnure of Green Mountain Power.
The Vermont Department of Public Safety urged Vermonters to heed the following advice while they wait for electrical service to be restored:
- If you are without power and using a generator – NEVER run it indoors, that includes the garage. Use the generator outside and away from the house, far from vents and windows. Exhaust from generators and other motors can cause carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning which can be fatal.
- Never touch or come in contact with a downed power line. Treat all power lines as live wires that can electrocute, causing serious injury or death.
- When clearing debris, ensure branches are not in contact with a power line. Trees and other items conduct electricity and can cause electrocution.
- Ensure you have batteries for flashlights and battery powered radios on hand. A battery charger for your cell phone can also ensure you can stay connected.
- Ensure your home has working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Respect detours on the roads, never drive over a downed power line.
- If you have medical equipment that relies on electricity, or medication that must be refrigerated, call 2-1-1 or your local town office.
Ben Delorme said he and his family moved into a new home in Colchester Saturday morning, so were there just two nights when the trees started falling.
"I could hear them going down,” Delorme recalled. "We just all got in our room in our bed and huddled together and just rode it out."
In nearby Milton, when a pine toppled, its roots lifted up a large shed behind Nickie Powers' house, leaving the storage structure sitting at an angle.
"I’ve never heard the wind like the way it was last night–ever," Powers said.
Crews worked long hours Monday to reopen closed roads in communities across the state.
Several local roads and a handful of state roads remained either partially or fully closed to travel as of late Monday afternoon, according to the Vermont Department of Public Safety.
Many schools around the state also canceled classes Monday, due to both power outages and transportation challenges.
With a big tree down in her back yard, Jessica Owens of Milton said she had a lot of work to do.
"It’s going to be a long cleanup," Owens said. “But at least we’ll have firewood for fire pits.”
Fallen trees were even blocking train tracks in Colchester, delaying Amtrak passengers three hours in Essex Junction.
"Can’t really do anything about it, though," passenger Moira Stone said about her delayed travel to New York City.
That train would eventually come and get travelers to where they were heading: a bit of good news in a state that still has lots of cleanup ahead of it.