Burst sprinkler head at SVMC necessitates brief power outage


BENNINGTON - More than 2,000 Green Mountain Power customers in Bennington were without power for a short time Saturday morning.

Dorothy Schnure, corporate spokesman for Green Mountain Power, said via email that Bennington Fire Department requested that, due to burst pipes at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, power be cut on Elm and Weeks Streets along with a part of Union Street and Route 7 south of the village. She said the outage began at 11:07 a.m. and was closed at 11:39 a.m.

Kevin Robinson, communications director for SVMC, said at about 10:30 a.m. a sprinkler head in a ground-floor conference room burst, which set of an alarm and caused some water damage.

"We have no estimate what it's going to take to clean it up at this point," Robinson said Saturday afternoon.

No patient rooms or offices were affected by the water leakage, but Green Mountain Power was called in because water was dripping near some electrical "switch gear" in the basement.

For safety reasons, that power was shut off in that part of the hospital and the hospital switched to generator power while the basement was checked.

"The fire department wanted to be sure it was safe to go into that part of the basement," Robinson said. He said he was unaware that power had been cut off to any other GMP customers.

"We are certainly sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused," he said.

Per GMP, the outage affected 2,041 customers in the area of Bennington Village toward the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center and Pownal.

On the Banner's Facebook page, readers reported power being out on streets including South Street, Silver Street, Union Street and Monument Street for about 30 to 45 minutes.

As of 1 p.m., GMP was reporting just four Bennington customers remaining without power.


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