Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is preparing for a major winter snowstorm to impact the region Sunday night and into Monday.
According to the most recent forecasts, as much as 10-18 inches of snow is possible in all regions. This snow is forecasted to be of normal consistency, though some wetter snow may fall closer to the coast for a brief period. Gusty winds approaching 40 mph are also possible Monday morning as the snow tapers down.
Unitil has secured additional crew resources to respond to outages. At this time, Unitil does not plan to open its system or regional emergency operation centers, as snow consistency is expected to remain normal to dry for the majority of the event. However, Unitil will continue to monitor the storm’s track and consistency of the snow and will be prepared to escalate its response if warranted.
“Normal or dry snow, even in high volumes, tends not to stick to tree branches, meaning a lot can fall without issue,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “However, considering all the snow that has already fallen in the last week, we do recommend customers work to keep their vents and gas meters clear of snow and ice as they dig out from this latest storm.”
As snow accumulates, Unitil advises customers to take the following steps:
- Remove snow and ice carefully from a meter or outdoor appliance vent carefully with a broom. Do not use a shovel as it can damage the meter.
- Avoid shoveling or plowing snow up against or covering the meter or pipe.
- Remove icicles from overhead eaves and gutters to assure dripping water does not freeze the meter or vent pipe. Contact a qualified roofing vendor if you cannot reach icicles yourself.
- Do not kick your gas meter in an attempt to break ice off, as this too can cause damage.
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 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.
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.