The peak hours of what has the potential to be a significant winter storm for the region are expected over the next several hours.
According to the most recent forecasts, as much as 6-14 inches of snow is possible in all regions, with the highest volume of wet snow possible in the Concord NH area. The northwestern most portions of Unitil’s service territory are considered most likely to see a hazardous level of wet heavy snow, and gusty winds are possible throughout the region overnight as the snow dissipates.
“The key indicator for us over the next few hours is how far north the changeover to rain occurs,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “We are prepared with additional crews in all of our service territories, but currently the greatest level of risk appears to be northwest of Concord and our preparations account for this.”
Currently, Unitil has more than 100 crew resources to respond to outages, a compliment that includes line crews, digger trucks, tree crews, wires down personnel and damage assessors. Crews will be working overnight in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts to restore where possible and to address public safety concerns. A regional Emergency Operations Center in Concord, New Hampshire is set to open Friday morning to coordinate response efforts in this area. In the meantime, Unitil will continue to monitor the track and intensity of the storm and will be prepared to escalate its response in other areas if warranted.
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 www.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 food and a manual can opener
- A list of important phone numbers and a car charger for cell phones if applicable
- A first aid kit.
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 line 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.
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://www.unitil.com/report-outage.