Internal and third party crews working forUnitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, worked diligently overnight and will be entering the damage assessment phase in full beginning this morning. Damage from Hurricane Sandy is believed to be extensive and wind gusts as high as 40 miles an hour are expected to continue through the day today.
“As we complete the public safety phase, we will move towards the damage assessment phase of restoration,” Unitil media relations manager Alec O’Meara said. “Crews will be working to restore power picking up large groups of customers, but at the same time we will be canvasing our service area to take stock of the existing damage and create a clear picture for the restoration effort.”
As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, approximately 31,000 customers are without power spread across all service territories. Of those, approximately 23,700 customers are without power in the NH Seacoast region, 5,800 are out in the New Hampshire Capital region and 1,500 in North-Central Massachusetts. High winds continued through the overnight hours, increasing the total outage count.
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 storm and 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.