Crews converge on Windham and Windsor countiesTree damage in Wilmington area is worst many workers have ever seenRUTLAND (December 15, 2008)– After more than 90 hours of restoration work since the first customer went out last Friday, line and tree crews have restored service to 30,100 of the 35,000 CVPS customers who lost power after last week’s ice storm. CVPS has acquired 10 line crews from Hydro One in Canada. They will arrive on CVPS property late tonight to assist in the restoration effort tomorrow.Most customers in Windsor County will be back on by late Tuesday evening, but single customer outages and areas with extreme damage – especially the Wilmington, Readsboro, Wardsboro, Dover, Guilford area — will carry later into the week.More than 100 line crews and 50 tree crews are now working in Windham and Windsor counties. Ten tree crews from Ohio will also join the restoration effort today. Crews continue to make slow progress, as most repairs are off-road in isolated pockets.”In many cases, we have four to six crews working to clear dozens of trees from one line serving no more than 10 customers at a time,” said CVPS spokeswoman Christine Rivers. “Crews are putting in hours upon hours of work only to restore a few customers. We have tree crews that are spending an entire day cutting away ice and limbs on one section of line. Each repair is only going to turn on small numbers of customers. We may restore a large three-phase line, but then all the side taps off that line to customers’ homes are also down.”Crews reported some areas with more than an inch of ice accumulation in the Wilmington area. Many roads in area are still impassible or reduced to one lane due to downed and hanging trees and limbs. Some of lower elevations saw some unloading of ice Sunday, but the higher elevations, particularly above 1,100 feet in southern Vermont are still covered. Ice-laden trees broke over 50 poles – more than 40 of those in Windham County – and brought down hundreds of line, damaging or demolishing cross arms and line equipment.Estimates put the cost of the restoration effort around at least $3 million, ranking it just behind the April 2007 Nor’icane.”This is our second most costly storm, but it’s also a storm that has continued to strengthen state and local collaboration during emergency situations,” said Joe Kraus, CVPS’s vice president for engineering, operations and customer service. “State and local government, utilities and contractors have all focused on a safe, efficient restoration effort. That cooperation has speeded the restoration. We’ll do whatever it takes to bring back every customer.”Check with an electricianCVPS also reminded customers that while service lines or overhead wires that run from a pole to a house or business are the utility’s responsibility, the service cable that runs along the side of the house is the customer’s responsibility.If those service cables are damaged, customers should contact an electrician. The service bracket that attaches the service line to the house is generally maintained by CVPS. However, the weather head, attached to the service cable, which prevents water damage to the wiring, is maintained by the customer’s electrician.SAFETY FIRSTCVPS urges customers to take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety in the wake of the storm. The company offered the following tips for safely coping with the outages:* Treat any downed line as if it is live. Report the line to your local utility and fire department, stay at least 30 feet away from the line, and keep children and pets away as well.* If you waiting out the storm at your home without power, stay in contact with your neighbors. If you live alone, are HOMEBOUND, have LIFE-SUPPORT equipment, or live in a secluded area, stay in contact with a friend, relative or close neighbor.* If using a generator, read and follow the owner’s manual before starting the generator. Never operate a generator inside any structure or near a structure. Use a transfer switch to ensure electricity is not accidentally fed onto a line where line crews must work.* Keep freezers and refrigerators closed as much as possible to prevent food spoilage.* Turn off all electrical appliances except one light so you’ll know when service returns. Then, turn equipment back on slowly.