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BRATTLEBORO — The emergency shelter set up by the Red Cross at Brattleboro Union High School was to remain open overnight and into Thursday, according to information from the Brattleboro Fire Department.

Erica Fuller, shelter supervisor for the Red Cross, said the facility at BUHS is for anyone who needs a place to warm up and enjoy a meal or a hot beverage.

“We’re here as long as the need is here,” she said. “We will be here until the state and the city tell us to go home. If you know anybody who’s struggling and needs a warm place to be, Brattleboro High School is the place.”


Brattleboro resident Savannah Casey and her family enjoy a meal at a warming shelter that the Red Cross opened at Brattleboro Union High School on Wednesday.

Savannah Casey, of Brattleboro, said she’s been out of power since Tuesday morning.

She and her family have been coping well, but were thankful for the warm food offered by the Red Cross at the shelter.

“We have a little woodstove and we had extra blankets and extra clothes on,” said Casey. “We’re OK, but I know there’s people out there without heat.”

Jack May of Guilford came to the shelter to do some work on his laptop as they have been without power since Tuesday as well.

“We were OK,” he said. “There was a lot of snow and a lot of branches breaking and we were lucky that we were healthy and happy and had candles.”


Rick Holloway shows where Chroma Technology had people stay at a warming shelter in Bellows Falls.

In Rockingham, Chroma Technology stepped forward late Tuesday afternoon and offered to set up an overnight shelter, as it had generators to run its business and a lot of Rockingham and Bellows Falls was without power.

Rick Holloway, facilities manager at Chroma, said Wednesday that only two people took advantage of the shelter Tuesday night, and that was to charge their devices. He said he worked with Bellows Falls Fire Chief Shaun McGinnis to establish the shelter and staff it overnight.

Holloway said that several volunteers from Chroma staff and two Bellows Falls firefighters were on hand to help people.

He said Chroma would be interested in serving an emergency role in the future, if necessary.

Rockingham and Bellows Falls officials took Chroma up on its offer Wednesday afternoon.

“Based on the understood need, Chroma has agreed to provide a warm place to hang out and charge their devices, have a cup of coffee. If someone needs more we will consider the option of staying open longer so people don’t have to be in the cold,” Holloway said later Wednesday afternoon.

McGinnis said that while many people were without power as of Wednesday afternoon, people were reluctant to leave their homes and pets, and he said the demand for a shelter “wasn’t as great as people on social media think.”

He said the area was also lucky because of the relatively mild temperatures. “It’s going to be 50 degrees tomorrow,” he said, noting that the outages were spotty and didn’t necessarily follow a pattern.

Bellows Falls Village Police Chief David Bemis said that once GMP workers fixed a substation in Bellows Falls around midnight, many people had their power restored.

He said in his hometown of Athens, “91 percent of the residents are without power.”

Rockingham Town Manager Scott Pickup said with the continued outages in Rockingham, the town had explored setting up a shelter and charging station at the Rockingham Recreation Center, which is in Bellows Falls.{/div}


Two people that were trapped in the snow walk through the snow covered Hinesburg Road in Brattleboro on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, as they make their way to safety.

Wilmington Town Manager Scott Tucker said the town was in “pretty good” shape, considering about 3 to 4 feet of snow had fallen in places. He expects it will take a few days to clean up, especially sidewalks and parking areas.

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“The amount of snow is a condition that narrows roads being plowed,” he said.

Brattleboro Fire Chief Leonard Howard issued a news release Wednesday afternoon stating about 16 percent of Brattleboro is still without power, however power should be fully restored by Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, power in outlying towns might not be restored for the next four or five days, he wrote.

The Department of Public Works also is working to clear sidewalks around Brattleboro and crews will be going out on Thursday to clear drains in anticipation of rain to come.

“The Department of Public Works is advising many roads are closed or are down to one lane, because of trees and wires down in the roadways,” wrote Howard. “Downtown snow removal will be delayed until they achieve getting all the roads open for through travel.”


After a snowstorm on Tuesday, Brattleboro resident Joe Reynolds looks over the fallen trees on Wednesday, March 15, 2023. Reynolds said the trees fell around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, knocking his power out. He said he had never seen anything like this on this road.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, Brattleboro Town Manager John Potter issued a news release asking people to exercise caution by staying off the roads unless there is an emergency.

“This continues to be a time to exercise caution by avoiding travel unless necessary, using equipment such as generators and portable heaters carefully and with proper ventilation, thinking about and checking on your neighbors to make sure they are all right,” he wrote.

Potter noted that seven highway crews from the Brattleboro Department of Public Works Highway worked all night plowing roads, clearing trees, and checking access on Tuesday.

“They reported 48 roads currently obstructed in Brattleboro resulting from 81 total recorded events, mostly trees and wires down,” wrote Potter. “Of these trees down, 23 have been cleared up so far, and five crews continue to be out keeping roads clear and coordinating with Green Mountain Power this morning.”

In addition, firefighters from the Brattleboro Fire Department responded to 47 calls since the start of the storm.

“The town is fortunate to have such dedicated professionals responding to emergency situations with care, attention, and commitment to the safety and welfare of Brattleboro residents and visitors,” wrote Potter.

He asked people to stay away from any downed power lines and report them to 911 and Green Mountain Power at or by calling 888-835-4672.

As of Wednesday morning, 180 additional line workers assisted Green Mountain Power workers with restoring power to more than 59,000 of the 83,000 customers who lost power as a result of the storm.

“Adding to difficulties in the field, crews face time consuming challenges working with local first responders in clearing roads from downed trees and lines,” states information from GMP.


A barrier across Route 63 in Chesterfield, N.H. on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, after Tuesday's snowstorm.

In Chesterfield, N.H., Route 63, which runs between that town and Hinsdale, was closed due to trees and powerlines down.

Brie Smith and Austin Morrow were sitting in a car on Route 63, in Hinsdale, N.H., while watching a crew from Eversource fix a power line before a tree comes crashing down. Smith said the tree kept leaning over before it fell.

“It was unreal. The whole lines shook and then you could hear other trees from the distant cracking,” said Smith. “Luckily someone from the crew reached out and said everyone was okay, just shaken up.”

She said it was scary at the time as the pole next to the vehicle they were in shook severely.

Brie Smith and Austin Morrow sit in a car on Route 63, in Hinsdale, N.H., while watching a crew from Eversource fix a powerline before a tree comes crashing down. Smith said the tree kept leaning over before it fell.

And while the extreme snowfall is a skier’s dream, at least some ski areas were struggling with the impacts of the storm.

Magic Mountain Ski Area posted on its Facebook page: “We just lost 1 of the 3 necessary phases of power to lodge and lift. Down power line on access road. Green Mountain Power is sending a truck and we will keep you posted as we work with GMP to restore power as soon as possible. Auxiliary diesel motor is running to evac the chair. Thank you.”

And the Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry was closed Wednesday, leaving a phone recording saying some staff couldn’t make it to work because of the storm, and work was underway to reach trails and make them ski-able.

Bob Audette can be contacted at