Unitil (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, is issuing a winter weather advisory to both its gas and electric customers.
According to the most recent forecasts, high accumulations of snow are likely over the next 48 hours. As the forecasts are calling for dry snow and are not expected to be accompanied by heavy wind, Unitil is not expecting it will need to open its system wide or regional emergency operations centers. However, Unitil will continue to monitor the storm over the next 48 hours and is prepared to open its emergency operation centers if needed.
“Dry snow, even a great deal of it, is unlikely to cause significant outages by itself,” Alec O’Meara, Unitil’s media relations manager said. “However, scattered outages are possible during any significant weather event, and the condition of the roads may delay restoration efforts should they occur. Unitil urges customers to take the standard precautions one takes for any major winter storm.”
Customers experiencing electric outages should call the following toll-free numbers:
For Massachusetts: 888-301-7700
For the NH Capital Area: 800-852-3339
For the NH Seacoast Area: 800-582-7276
Heavy snow can have an impact on home meters, especially natural gas meters and vents. 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.
Keeping vents and meters clear will allow for proper ventilation and can prevent carbon monoxide buildup within your home.
Unitil is advising all residents to travel as little as possible through the next 48 hours while state and local officials work to keep the roads clear.
In the event of any electric outage, Unitil will work quickly and efficiently to restore power. Should outages occur, we ask for our customers' patience and understanding while we work to bring the lights back on, and we will provide regular updates to local media outlets regarding progress. Updates will also be available on Unitil’s website, www.unitil.com and on Unitil’s Twitter feed.