- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A two-day storm dumped more than a foot of heavy, wet snow in parts of Vermont, causing treacherous travel and toppling trees onto roads and power lines, leaving thousands without electricity.

Green Mountain Power - the state’s largest utility - said more than 55,000 customers lost power, and 15,000 were still without service Wednesday afternoon. As crews worked to restore power, rain, sleet and more snow fell Wednesday causing even more outages, the utility said.

“The latest round of wet, heavy snow starting again this afternoon is likely to cause many more outages and could delay restoration times significantly. While we have 15,000 still without power, we expect it will take well into Friday and possibly Saturday before all are restored,” said GMP spokeswoman Dottie Schnure.

The Red Cross opened a shelter in Middlebury for residents who had no power.

State highway dispatcher Larry Dodge said that just as roads became clear of slush and ice Wednesday afternoon, rain turned to sleet and snow across the state, making roads slick again.

Most of the bus service in Chittenden County was suspended Wednesday evening, the county transportation authority said. The Montpelier LINK was still operating.

A state trooper was injured in Windsor when a car hit his cruiser while he was stopped in an emergency passing lane to warn drivers about an upcoming crash. Police say the driver switched from the right lane to the left as he approached the crash and lost control of his car. The car hit the guard rail and the back and side of the police cruiser.

The state police corporal was taken to the hospital with minor back pain, police said.

Bennington County in southwestern Vermont was under a winter storm warning until Thursday morning calling for 6 to 12 inches of snow.

Total storm accumulations could reach 8 to 16 inches, the National Weather Service said.

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