Vermont's protective systems worked in blackout

COLCHESTER, VT (2003-08-16)

(Host) An official at the Vermont Electric Power Company in Rutland says Vermont was largely unscathed in Thursday's blackout because the power system isolated itself.

Gary Parker is with the operations team at VELCO. He says the emergency systems in the state's electric transmission lines worked properly:

(Parker) "We escaped because our protected system essentially cut us loose from New York as they were going into the brink. We have three major ties with New York. But essentially our system was saved because we're - our protective systems essentially disconnected us from the trouble spots in New York."

(Host) Parker says the same systems that protected Vermont, didn't work in other parts of the electric grid - allowing the blackouts to spread. He says power officials are trying to learn why the protective systems worked in some place and not in others:

(Parker) "We're not going to have that answer until we can fully analyze where the fault or the problem began and how it spread and how the systems were coordinated. Ultimately the engineers should be able to assemble all this information and get a picture of where the problem started and why it wasn't stopped quick enough."

(Host) Among the effects of the blackout was a cutback in Amtrak service between Vermont and New York. Full train service is expected to resume on Saturday.