The majority of Unitil customers will have power by Tuesday evening with crews dispersed across the region with a singular goal in mind: total restoration. Given the scale of the event, however, some individual service issues as well as isolated pockets of customer outages may linger into Wednesday.
As of 1:00 p.m. an estimated 35,415 of Unitil’s 103,000 electric customers system wide are reporting no power, down from an overnight peak of 70,000. Of those customers, 18,684 of Unitil’s 28,000 customers in Massachusetts are without power and 16,731 of Unitil’s 75,000 customers inNew Hampshire are without power.
“Momentum is now on our side in this complex restoration effort,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Our crews are actively attacking the remaining problem areas across the region, and we fully expect the majority of our customers to have power by the end of the day Tuesday with single services and isolated out pockets trickling into Wednesday.”
Like all power companies, Unitil employs a restoration strategy that starts by monitoring information from remote equipment, customer calls and reports, as well as physical inspection. These results are compiled and a strategy is developed, as quickly and safely as possible, to restore electrical service to affected areas. Key considerations are:
- Transmission lines, which carry power from generator stations (where power is produced) to substations
- Distribution substations, where high voltage from transmission lines is converted to the lower voltage used in distribution lines (the lines running down your street to your home)
- Distribution (main) lines, the lines serving large numbers of customers that carry lower voltages that connect to your home
- Service drops, where the distribution line connects to your house
Repairing transmission lines and distribution substations usually results in large numbers of customers being restored quickly. However, as restoration proceeds, the damage becomes more localized, requiring a greater number of resources and time to restore a decreasing number of customers.
Approximately 300 crews, some from as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada are participating in the restoration effort for the areas hit hardest by the storm. The crews provide specialized work and include line, tree, pole setting, damage assessment and wires down teams. Crews worked overnight on damage assessment, restoring power where possible.
Home appliances make our lives easier, but they must be properly installed and maintained to keep you and others in your dwellings safe. The same thinking extends to generators and other devices used during power outages. 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.