Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, has opened its emergency operation centers to coordinate restoration efforts following yesterday’s damaging snowstorm.
As of 6 a.m., an estimated 20,000 of Unitil’s 105,000 electric customers system wide are reporting no power, down from an overnight peak of approximately 31,000. Of those customers, less than 1,000 of Unitil’s 28,000 customers in Massachusetts are without power, down from a peak of roughly 3,500 customers and 19,000 of Unitil’s 75,000 customers in New Hampshire are without power, 18,000 of which reside in the greater Concord, NH region. However, new outages may continue to develop as trees heavily loaded with hazardous amounts of snow continue to break branches.
While restoration efforts should be down to single service issues in Massachusetts regions by end of day today, work in New Hampshire is expected to be a multi-day effort. Damage assessment in the Concord area is ongoing.
“Once the damage assessment phase is complete, we’ll have a clear picture as to how long it will take to restore power to all customers, but it is clear we will be working through Thanksgiving in Concord,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “While we will be continuing to restore, customers without power this morning should make alternative plans if possible for their holiday dinner.”
To aid with restoration, Unitil requested assistance from additional crews from Canada during the overnight hours. These crews are scheduled to arrive later today.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the storm and restoration through Public Service Announcements (PSAs), our customer call center and through the media. We also encourage customers to follow along with our storm updates via our Twitter feed (@Unitil), on Facebook and will be providing real-time outage information online at www.unitil.com/map.
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. Re-Tweets and re-posting of old information without referencing a time can create confusion.
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 and avoid anything metal nearby which could potentially conduct electricity. Stay in a safe place and avoid driving in damaged areas so you don’t interfere with rescue and restoration efforts.
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.