Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is working to restore power to approximately 19,200 customers currently impacted by today’s powerful winter storm. Of those impacted, all of those without power are in the NH Seacoast region.
Unitil’s system Emergency Operations Center is open to coordinate its restoration effort. High winds and near whiteout travel conditions are impacting crews’ ability to reach locations, though power is still being restored where possible.
“When winds get above 35 miles an hour, buckets on trucks can’t safely extend and crews must wait in order to work safely. However, conditions are expected to improve during the overnight hours as the snow slows and winds die down rapidly,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Crews will continue to work through the night to restore power to customers.”
In the event of downed wires, assume all cables and wires that have fallen or dangling are energized and stay away. Be sure to avoid wet ground or puddles near a downed lined because water conducts electricity. In addition, keep away from all flooded and debris-laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines. Stay in a safe place and avoid driving in damaged areas so you don’t interfere with rescue and restoration efforts.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the event 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 Facebook, our Twitter feed (@Unitil) and we will be providing real-time outage information online at http://unitil.com/map.
We recommend our customers remain similarly prepared by checking and making an inventory of the following items:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- A battery-operated radio and clock
- Bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener
- A list of important phone numbers and a car charger for cell phones if applicable
- A first aid kit.
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 at http://unitil.com/report-outage.