“According to the National Weather Service and Vermont Emergency Management, 45-60 mile per hour wind gusts are expected in Central Vermont. Winds of this speed can cause structural damage and power outages, as trees and power poles are knocked down. Localized flooding is also possible where the rain is heaviest. Flooding is possible anywhere, but NWS says the southern half of Vermont is the most susceptible. The forecast can be found at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/btv/.
We are advising people to take the following precautions. First of all, stay home. Driving will be hazardous. Stay away from any power lines that are knocked down, and be very careful if you are near fallen trees. Please secure anything on your property that could be blown away and cause danger for other people, or for drainage. This includes political signs. The city will be removing political signs in our right of way.
Power outages can mean that your furnace and refrigerator won’t work. The city water has backup storage and power systems, so we have no reason to believe that anyone on the city water will be without water. If you use an emergency generator, please make sure it is properly vented – they should never be used inside a home or anywhere where the carbon monoxide they exhaust can cause problems – it is an odorless gas that can kill you.
Power outages also mean that you may not have access to electronic communication. We will be making these phone calls and keeping radio stations in our area up to date on emergency communications.
Other tips offered by Vermont Emergency Management include:
* Check flashlights and portable radios to ensure that they are working, and you have extra batteries. A battery powered radio is an important source of critical weather and emergency information during a storm.
* If your water supply could be affected by a power outage (a well-water pump system), fill your bathtub and spare containers with water. Water in the bathtub should be used for sanitation purposes only, not as drinking water. Pouring a pail of water from the tub directly into the bowl can flush a toilet.
* Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings (remember to reset them back to normal once power is restored). During an outage, do not open the refrigerator or freezer door unnecessarily. Food can stay cold in a full refrigerator for up to 24 hours, and in a well-packed freezer for 48 hours (24 hours if it is half-packed).
* If you have medication that requires refrigeration, check with your pharmacist for guidance on proper storage during an extended outage.
* Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and guidelines when using a generator. Always use outdoors, away from windows and doors. Carbon Monoxide (CO) fumes are odorless and can quickly accumulate indoors. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator directly into household wiring, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is extremely dangerous and presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household circuit protection devices.
*Make sure your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide detectors have fresh batteries and are in working order.
*Be extra cautious when you go outside to inspect for damage after a storm. Downed or hanging electrical wires can be hidden by trees or debris, and could be live. Never attempt to touch or move downed lines, and keep children and pets away from them. Do not touch anything power lines are touching, such as tree branches or fences. Always assume a downed line is a live line. Call your utility company to report any outage related problem.
We are not expecting river flooding here, but flash floods and other localized flooding can occur. The tropical rains National Weather Service predicts for our area can come in short, heavy, downpours. We are asking people to check the storm drains in their area and help us keep them clear of leaves and debris.
For more information about the storm, go to Vermont Emergency Management at www.vem.vermont.gov, or the city web site at www.montpelier-vt.org. You can sign up for e-mail and text alerts on the city web site by clicking on the Blackboard Connect link at the bottom of the home page, and then clicking on Sign Me Up.
Be safe. Keep your children safe. Downed electric lines can be hidden by debris, so please be attentive after the storm.
Fire Chief Robert Gowans
City Manager Bill Fraser
Police Chief Anthony Facos
Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Planning and Development Director”