1 dead, thousands without power in Vt. ice storm

WINOOSKI, Vt. (AP) — An Albany man died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator that was running after the man’s house lost power in the weekend’s ice storm, police said Monday.

More than 7,500 Vermont households and businesses remained without power late Monday afternoon as utility crews repaired lines damaged by ice buildup and tree limbs downed when the storm swept through Saturday night into Sunday.

Green Mountain Power was reporting fewer than 1,000 outages — most in the Winooski area. That’s down from about 5,700 earlier in the day. Vermont Electric Cooperative was reporting about 6,600 outages, down from about 9,000. Some of the outages might linger past Christmas.

The storm is responsible for 11 deaths nationwide, including traffic accidents, drownings and Monday’s carbon monoxide death in Albany.

Police were called to the man’s house early Monday and found the occupant dead and a generator running. His name was not immediately released. Based on initial investigation and a preliminary autopsy report, it was determined the man died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Vermont officials said they received half a dozen reports of carbon monoxide poisoning in one day, the number they usually get in a typical winter.

Safety officials remind users to never run a generator or use a grill to cook indoors and keep outdoor generators away from windows, doors or other areas where exhaust can vent back into a living area.

Gov. Peter Shumlin said emergency shelters will remain open at North Country High School in Newport, Enosburg High School, and the Barton Village Office.

“Even though much of Vermont was spared the worst predictions of this ice storm, the Champlain Valley and the Northeast Kingdom were hit hard, and we are doing everything to ensure the roads are open, the power is restored and people have a safe place to stay while the work is completed,” Shumlin said in a prepared statement.

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