Halloween storm 'pretty scary at times'

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LONDONDERRY — A Halloween storm that required the state's largest electric utility to restore power to more than 115,000 customers left some residents in Londonderry and nearby towns without power through the weekend.

"It was definitely cold and uncomfortable," said state Rep. Kelly Pajala, who is also Londonderry's town clerk. Pajala kept constituents updated on road closures and power-restoration efforts through her Facebook page.

Pajala said the wind storm hit Londonderry on Friday and was "pretty scary at times."

The storm led to the area's second, multi-day power outage this fall, she said. The town's office received calls regarding blocked roads and trees on wires.

A handful of residents visited "warming centers" established at the First Baptist Church of South Londonderry on Saturday and the Londonderry Rescue Squad building Sunday, Pajala said.

Robert Badger, a property owner in Landgrove, said in an email that Thursday night winds toppled a shelter inside a fenced area, prompting his four lambs to crash the gate and escape.

He found two of the lambs Friday morning, but searched all day without finding the other two, despite assistance from his wife, friends and neighbors.

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Saturday morning, Badger found another lamb in the woods between his home and the field where the fenced area is located.

"He seemed so happy to see me, and as I led him down the road, he kept kicking up his [heels] with glee," he wrote.

Not far from where he found the third lamb, Badger found the fourth — "dead and partly eaten, I'm sure by coyotes," he wrote.

Green Mountain Power said in a news release on Tuesday that hundreds of line workers, out-of-state line workers, tree crews and assessors worked for days to repair line and pole damage caused by rain and wind. The utility said it restored power for the last customers affected by the storm on Monday.

Mike Burke, chief field operations executive with the utility, said in the release that the storm "is among the top five GMP has seen for total customer outages, and it is concerning that the top five have happened in just the last eight years.

"Storms are increasing in frequency and severity, as the weather impacts of climate change hit Vermont," Burke said.

Contact Luke Nathan at lnathan@benningtonbanner.com.


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