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Hurricane Sandy Knocks Out Power in Vermont and Massachusetts

Hurricane Sandy lashed out in Massachusetts and Southern Vermont causing tens of thousands to lose power, with many still waiting for their electricity to come back on. But less severe weather today is enabling crews to continue their work. WAMC”s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard reports…

In Western Massachusetts, Hurricane Sandy caused wide-spread power outages, mostly as a result of high winds. In some of the hilltowns and in the Berkshires wind gusts exceeded 60 miles per hour. Some communities are still mostly without power.

The Western Mass Electric Company said that 40,000 customers were affected by the storm, but many have already had their power restored. Spokesman Frank Poirot…

Frank Poirot said that crews from as far away as Oklahoma came to assist in the restoration efforts. He said that he expects the remaining 8,000 customers that lost power to be restored by this evening.

As of this morning, 14,000 National Grid customers in Western Massachusetts were also without power.

In Berkshire County, emergency shelters were opened in Adams and North Adams. The Red Cross had opened a shelter in Northampton on Sunday night.

Power outages were also rampant in Vermont. At a press conference today, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin gave details.

The Governor said that most of the damage in Vermont was due to high winds and not flooding.

Shumlin said that he would join the governor’s in neighboring states to discuss the storm with President Obama, and to see how Vermont can help.

Peter Coffey, Deputy Director for Operations and Logistics at Vermont Emergency Management said that in the storm, 4 emergency shelters were opened in Southern Vermont, but only one in Rutland had anyone come. 5 people spent time at the Rutland shelter. Coffey also said that the Vermont National Guard was not utilized.

Coffey said that for the 12,000 customers still without power, the utilities are working to have most restored by tonight.

Vermont Lt. Gov. Phil Scott said that the work in the Green Mountain State is not done but sees the storm as a lesson in preparedness.

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