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Toby Talbot, Associated Press
Green Mountain Power lineman John Cordner sharpens his chainsaw in preparation for Superstorm Sandy on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in Colchester, Vt. Vermont emergency management officials are expecting most of the damage from Hurricane Sandy to be caused by winds that could reach 60 to 80 mph from the southern part of the state to the Canadian border. Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn says many Vermonters remain anxious about the storm in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene. He said the best way to deal with the anxiety is to be prepared for power outages and possible flooding.

MONTPELIER, Vt. — Thousands of Vermonters remain without power and schools are closed from one end of the state to the other, but experts say the state was spared serious damage from superstorm Sandy.

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National Weather Service meteorologist Scott Whittier says that as Sandy approached the coast it surprised forecasters by picking up speed, which helped reduce the danger to Vermont.

Whittier tells Vermont Public Radio there were still significant gusts of wind in Vermont, but they were not as strong as they could have been.

He says the state "lucked out."

At about 7 a.m. the state's electric utilities reported about 8,500 customers were without power.

The state's largest utility, Green Mountain Power, reported its crews had restored power to about 28,700 customers.