Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, is preparing for the potential of a major spring snow storm impacting all service territories Thursday night and into Friday.
According to the most recent forecasts, high accumulations of heavy, wet snow accompanied by wind is possible throughout central and northern New England beginning late in the evening tonight and through tomorrow. Such conditions have the potential to cause significant power outages and substantial damage to the electrical system can extend the restoration period. In preparation for the storm, Unitil is bolstering its standard compliment of crews in all territories and is planning to open emergency operations centers in all of its electric service territories at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning to coordinate the approximately 100 Unitil and third party contractor crews on-hand system-wide to address reported outages as they occur.
Unitil has been monitoring this storm since Tuesday, March 28. The consistency of the snow as it falls throughout the storm will be a key factor in the overall impact on the electric infrastructure, Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said.
“While any snowstorm has the potential to cause outages, the wetter and heavier snow associated with spring storms is more likely to stick to limbs and bring down trees onto power lines,” O’Meara said. “Our forecasts are comparing the snow from this particular storm to oatmeal and cement; oatmeal because it will stick to anything and cement because it will be very heavy.”
Unitil is advising its customers to be similarly 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: 1-888-301-7700
- For the NH Capital Area: 1-800-852-3339
- For the NH Seacoast Area: 1-800-582-7276
In the event of any outage, Unitil will work quickly and efficiently to restore power. In the meantime, we ask for our customers' patience and understanding while we work on restoration and we will provide regular updates to local media outlets regarding progress. General updates regarding outages and restoration will also be available though Unitil’s Website, www.unitil.com and Unitil’s Twitter feed.