Heavy snow shuts down Bristol-area schools


THE SWING SET and play structure at Lincoln Community School were quiet on Thursday when school in the 5-towns was closed because heavy snow downed power lines. Independent photo/John S. McCright

ADDISON COUNTY — Mount Abraham Unified School District schools were closed all day Thursday because of impassable roads and downed power lines. Other county school districts remained open.

Heavy, wet snow over the preceding couple of days had caused widespread damage and knocked out power to tens of thousands of Vermonters.

Green Mountain Power announced on Twitter Thursday morning that it had restored power to more than 86,000 customers statewide but had received 550 additional outage reports overnight. At 10 a.m. Thursday 102 Vermont towns were still experiencing power outages, affecting more than 15,000 customers.

By the time MAUSD schools would have opened Thursday, 33 outage incidents still affected a total of 472 customers in Bristol, Lincoln, Monkton and Starksboro (but none in New Haven).

Several 5-Town residents reported harrowing encounters on area roads during the storm.

“Drove into a lowered power line coming home last night,” Meredith McFarland wrote in a public Facebook post early Thursday morning. The Bristol Recreation Department director saw an electric blue flash as the line caught her cargo box and ripped it off her vehicle’s roof, she said.

McFarland pulled over and tried to find the cargo box by the lights of a passing snow plow, but to no avail. She turned around and headed back home to Buel’s Gore, still shaken by the experience.

“Be safe out there!” she wrote.

That night Starksboro opened Robinson Elementary School as an emergency shelter, but no one stayed overnight, according to town emergency coordinator Charlene Phelps, who confirmed Friday that power had been fully restored to the town.

MAUSD schools reopened Friday.

Reach Christopher Ross at christopherr@addisonindependent.com.

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