Unitil is issuing a winter weather advisory to both its gas and electric customers.
According to the most recent forecasts, a mix of rain, wind, freezing rain and heavy, wet snow is possible in all service territories beginning early Friday and lasting through the day and into the evening hours. Because the highest precipitation totals are forecasted to the north, Unitil is currently planning to open its regional emergency operations center in Concord, New Hampshire Friday morning as a precaution. However, Unitil will continue to monitor the storm over the next 48 hours and will be prepared to open additional emergency operation centers if needed.
“While the forecasted snow accumulation totals are lower than other storms this season, the potential for wetter, heavier snow makes outages a possibility,” Alec O’Meara, Unitil’s media relations manager said. “Wet snow tends to stick to trees more than dry snow and can cause limbs to fall onto lines.”
Unitil urges customers to take the standard precautions one takes for any winter storm, including checking to make sure flashlights, batteries, a battery-operated radio, bottled water and a car charger for any mobile communication device are readily available.
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 and icicles 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.
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.