Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is preparing for a winter storm tonight and into tomorrow.
According to the most recent forecasts, as much as 5-11 inches of wet snow are possible, with the highest totals in areas closer to the New Hampshire and Maine coast. While overall snow totals are lower than other recent storms to hit the area, the higher volume of wet snow forecasted increases the risk of outages.
Unitil has secured additional crew resources to respond to outages, should any occur. At this time, Unitil does not plan to open its system or regional emergency operation centers, but due to the wetter snow expected Unitil will be closely monitoring the track and timing of this event.
“Snow forecast totals have increased from yesterday for our New Hampshire service areas,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “With wet snow expected on the heels of the storm earlier in the week, we will be closely watching this storm and will be prepared to escalate our response if conditions warrant doing so.”
As snow accumulates, Unitil advises customers to take the following steps to assure that gas meters and vents stay clear:
- 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 http://unitil.com/map.
We recommend our customers prepare for any winter storm 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://unitil.com/report-outage.