Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, will open its emergency operation centers in response to forecasted blizzard-like conditions in all of its service territories throughout Tuesday.
According to the most recent forecasts, over two feet of snow combined with high winds are possible in all service territories, with higher totals possible in the seacoast region. Coastal flooding is also possible during the storm’s peak hours. Depending on the speed of the winds combined with the volume and consistency of snow, the possibility for electric outages exists for this event.
“Should outages occur, Unitil will be restoring power as conditions allow, with an emphasis on public safety and working with first responders to address wires down issues,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Should we experience blizzard-like conditions driving conditions will be hazardous. Bucket trucks will be unable to extend arms in sustained winds in excess of 35 mph, meaning conditions during the peak hours of the storm could delay restoration.”
Unitil will open its emergency operation centers at 6 a.m., but will also have staffing in place for the overnight hours as well to coordinate any issues and to avoid mid-storm travel. Currently, Unitil has secured approximately 100 crew resources system-wide, including bucket trucks, diggers, wires down teams and tree crews to provide assistance at each of its regional operation centers.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the storm 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 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.
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 lined 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.