As reports from the field come in on completed restoration tasks, outage numbers are beginning to reflect the work in the field to bring customers back online. Unitil has announced that it is estimating that the majority of its customers will be back on by the end of the day Tuesday. Some individual service issues, as well as isolated pockets of customer outages may last into Wednesday.
As of 5 p.m., an estimated 21,316 of Unitil’s 103,000 electric customers system wide are reporting no power, down from a peak of approximately 70,000, which occurred overnight Saturday and into Sunday. Of those customers, 9,511 of Unitil’s 28,000 customers in Massachusetts are without power, down from a peak of roughly 24,000 customers and 11,809 of Unitil’s 75,000 customers in New Hampshire are without power, down from a peak of approximately 46,000.
“As we get reports in from the field, we will continue to update our outage numbers accordingly,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Crews are working throughout the service territory to get customers back on as efficiently as possible. Headway is being made, and we ask for our customer’s patience as we work around the clock to restore power.”
Approximately 300 crews, some from as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada are working on the system in shifts around the clock to restore power. The crews, which range from traditional bucket trucks to civilian vehicles to a helicopter which flew the system to check off-road corridors, provide specialized work. They include line, tree, pole-setting, damage assessment and wires down teams.
Again, we urge customers still experiencing outages to 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
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.
In addition, such generators can “backfeed” electricity into the distribution lines and electrical equipment, seriously injuring or electrocuting a line worker or anyone who may touch a now-energized line thought to be dead. More important safety messages on generator usage can be found online at Unitil.com.