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High winds cause widespread power outages

BRATTLEBORO—The windstorm that roared through southern Vermont during the overnight hours of April 4 and 5 took down numerous trees and power lines and caused thousands of homes to lose their electrical and telephone service.

The storm’s strongest winds were reported east of the Green Mountains.

Top wind speeds during the storm ranged from 41 mph in Wilmington, to 45 mph in Keene, N.H., to 49 mph in Brattleboro, according to data from the National Weather Service.

Mount Washington in New Hampshire had the highest reported gust, at 112 mph, during the storm, while Mount Mansfield in Vermont was not far behind at 96 mph.

With the ground softened from rain and snowmelt during the past couple of weeks, the high winds easily toppled large trees and sent them crashing down on power lines and across roadways around Windham County.

By sunrise on the morning of April 5, Green Mountain Power reported that 56,000 people throughout Vermont had lost power, including customers in Brattleboro, Brookline, Dover, Dummerston, Grafton, Guilford, Jamaica, Londonderry, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, Stratton, Townshend, Wardsboro, Westminster, Whitingham, Wilmington, and Windham.

GMP said all those towns reported outages into April 6, although the total number of customers without power was down to just under 4,000 at that point. All but a handful of customers had their service restored by the afternoon of April 7.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #454 (Wednesday, April 11, 2018). This story appeared on page A5.

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