Crews working for Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, are focusing on damage assessment and restoration following extensive damage across the region from Hurricane Sandy. The damage assessment phase is ongoing and will continue around the clock. Restoration progress has been made in all service territories; however, customers in extensively damaged areas such as the New Hampshire seacoast region may see extended outages.
As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, approximately 22,700 customers are without power spread across all service territories, down from a reported peak of 41,100 at 11 p.m. Monday evening. Of those, approximately 15,800 customers are without power in the NH Seacoast region 5,200 are out in the New Hampshire Capital region and 1,700 in North-Central Massachusetts.
Unitil crews, in coordination with municipal emergency responders, worked diligently overnight on public safety issues and restored power where possible. Fresh crews rolled into the field early this morning to continue damage assessment and restoration. The crews provide specialized work and include traditional bucket trucks, line, tree, pole-setting, damage assessment and wires down teams, and a helicopter which will fly the system to check off-road corridors.
“Now that the storm has passed and winds have decreased to a safe level, our focus turns exclusively to assessing the damage to the electrical infrastructure and restoring power for our customers,” Unitil media relations manager Alec O’Meara. “We expect this restoration to take time and we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding as we respond to this historic storm.”
Customers who use portable generators during power outages must do so safely. Otherwise, the result could be far worse than the loss of electricity: injury or death to you, someone else or a line worker.
An improperly installed or positioned generator can cause exhaust, containing deadly carbon monoxide, to accumulate in your dwelling. Gas appliances that are not getting a sufficient supply of air can release carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas. Watch for things like yellow flames, flickering flames or soot that might indicate an appliance with a problem. Installing a carbon monoxide detector can help detect this odorless and colorless gas before it becomes a dangerous concern.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the restoration through Public Service Announcements (PSAs), our website, our customer call center and through the media. We also encourage customers to follow along with our storm updates via our Twitter feed (@Unitil) and will be providing real-time outage information online at www.unitil.com/map.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR MEDIA: Unitil asks that when reporting outage information, outlets time stamp the information. Outage numbers change hourly and we wish to make sure the information customers receive is consistent and understandable. Re-Tweets and re-posting of old information without referencing a time can create confusion.
Customers experiencing outages should call the following toll-free numbers:
- For the NH Seacoast Area: 1-800-582-7276
- For the NH Capital Area: 1-800-852-3339
- For Massachusetts: 1-888-301-7700
You can also report outages online here.