Micro-storm knocks down trees, power lines

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Storm damage closed a number of roads including Winhall Hollow Road Photo by Bruce Frauman

A brief but powerful thunderstorm blew through southern Vermont yesterday leaving thousands without power and keeping local emergency responders and power crews busy for hours.  While the entire afternoon was windy and increasingly overcast, the actual storm – around 5 p.m. was over in just a few minutes.

Kevin Beattie, emergency coordinator for the Town of Londonderry, posted on Facebook that the Thompsonburg Road substation was knocked out, affecting 2,800 Green Mountain Power customers. At around 8 p.m. GMP was reporting outage numbers of 1,407 in Londonderry, 809 in Townshend, 675 in Jamaica, 639 in Weston, 444 in Andover and 418 in Windham, with lesser totals in other area towns.

A large tree hanging on power lines above Popple Dungeon Road. Photo by Shawn Cunningham

911 dispatchers were swamped with calls for trees down and had to prioritize, telling one caller that if it was not sparking or on fire someone would get to it later.

Downed or hanging trees made for tricky passage on several roads. Westbound drivers on Route 11 at the top of the long decline into the Lowell Lake area had to edge into the oncoming lane to get around a tree blocking their lane while on Popple Dungeon Road in Chester a tree on the south side of the road fell to the north and was suspended by wires over the road.

A tree downed by wind crashed into a house on Main Street in Chester. Photo by Leah M. Cunningham

South Londonderry Fire Chief Jeff Duda called it a “wild night.”

“We had six different power-related emergencies with four roads closed overnight,” said Duda. Those closures were on Winhall Hollow Road, Spring Hill Road, White Pine Drive and Thompsonburg Road/Main Street.

According to Duda, the fire department was out from about 5 p.m. on Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday.

“It was typical summer storm damage, trees down on roads and power lines,” said Duda who estimated that the storm only lasted about five minutes in the South Londonderry area and that things are getting back to normal.

On Main Street in Chester, the winds sent a large old tree crashing into a house and shop next to the Post Office and a downed wire near Motel in the Meadow on Route 11 west started a small fire but the rains extinguished it. No injuries were reported in either incident.

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  1. John Hoover says:

    Thanks for the update. I can always count on the Telegraph for the news I need to know.