About 6,000 Vermonters lost power during a brief but potent wind-and-rain storm Tuesday night that toppled trees with gusts reaching 50 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Slightly more than one inch fell at Burlington International Airport during the 45-minute storm that began about 8 p.m. Higher amounts of rain were reported in other parts of the region, Robert Haynes, a meteorologist with the weather service, said Wednesday morning.
A wind-walloped tree temporarily closed a southbound lane on Interstate 89 near the Winooski River bridge (Exit 15), state emergency officials said.
North Beach in Burlington was closed Wednesday morning while crews cleaned up after the loss of several large trees, the city reported.
A 48-hour advisory notice against swimming at Oakledge Cove, Blanchard Beach, Blodgett Access and Perkins Pier was issued by the Department of Public Works, due to the risk of bacterial contamination from urban runoff and partially disinfected (but otherwise fully treated) sewage from the city’s Main Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The plant briefly lost power during the storm, according to the DPW; and disinfection pumps took 13 minutes to restart after backup generators kicked in.
The Burlington plant, as with many other systems in the region, treats a combination of stormwater and sewage — but can be overwhelmed by strong, brief storms.
Upgrades to the disinfection system were under contract and are scheduled to begin in the coming months, according to the plant operator’s report to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Intense infusions of freshwater runoff have challenged plant operations this month. A total of 5.25 inches of rain have fallen in August, which is 3.75 inches above normal.
So far this year, total precipitation for Burlington is at 20.95 inches — about 0.7 inches below normal.
Contact Joel Banner Baird at 802-660-1843 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @VTgoingUp.
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