Unitil (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, is preparing for the potential of an ice event in all of its service territories Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
According to the most recent forecasts, there will be an accumulation of wet snow, freezing rain and some icing possible throughout New England beginning Tuesday morning. While all service territories are at risk for severe weather, forecast models are currently suggesting the most significant potential of icing lies in North-Central Massachusetts. Such conditions have the potential to cause substantial damage to the electrical system, extending the restoration period for customers should outages occur. Unitil began reaching out to third party contractors Monday morning and is prepared to open both its system and regional emergency operations center as early as Tuesday morning if needed.
“We are expecting the most serious hours of this storm to occur late Tuesday and into Wednesday,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. ”However, we are prepared to launch into emergency operations earlier should conditions worsen ahead of schedule.”
Should icing occur, Unitil is advising its customers to be prepared for the potential of widespread outages. We recommend 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.
Customers experiencing 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
In the event any 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.
“The holiday weekend ended early for Unitil employees in order to assure that we are ready should severe winter weather occur,” O’Meara said. “Ice events can be the most difficult to predict in terms of location and potential for damage, but should we see an impact, Unitil will be ready to respond.”