Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is preparing for high overnight winds to impact all of its service territories tonight and into tomorrow.
According to the most recent forecasts, wind gusts at or approaching 50 miles per hour are possible throughout the region. These gusts have the potential to damage tree limbs and branches, meaning the possibility of electric outages exists for this event.
“While the leaves are off the trees, the wind speed and duration has the potential to cause some damage out there and it will be bitterly cold as well,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “We have prepared for this event to have a full complement of crews available for the overnight hours, plus fresh crews ready to go first thing in the morning should outages occur.”
Currently, Unitil has secured additional third-party crews to provide assistance at each of its regional operation centers should the need arise. While there are no current plans to open the system-wide emergency operations center, Unitil staff will continue to closely monitor the forecast and will be prepared to escalate its response regionally 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.