Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, is preparing for the potential of severe weather conditions in all of its service territories due to the passing of Hurricane Earl off the New England coast this weekend.
According to the most recent forecasts tracking Earl, severe weather, including moderate to high winds and heavy rain, are possible for coastal New Hampshire beginning late Friday through early Saturday morning. Such conditions can cause electric outages and while most interruptions are for relatively short periods of times, substantial damage to the electrical system can extend the restoration period.
Unitil has been preparing for the arrival of Earl since Tuesday, August 31, and is advising its customers to be similarly prepared for the potential of widespread outages. We recommend 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.
Customers experiencing electric outages should call us toll-free:
- For the NH Seacoast Area: 800-582-7276
- For the NH Capital Area: 800-852-3339
- For Massachusetts: 888-301-7700
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 work quickly and efficiently to restore power in the event of a widespread outage and will have additional crews staged in many of our seacoast communities Friday night and into Saturday to respond to storm damage. In the meantime, we ask for our customers’ patience and understanding should there be a disruption in power, and we will provide regular updates to local media outlets regarding progress.
“Unitil is hoping for the best but preparing for the worst at this time,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Hopefully, Hurricane Earl will choose to spend Labor Day weekend somewhere in the north Atlantic rather than New England, but we will be ready to respond if necessary.”