Unitil Corporation, (Unitil.com), a provider of electricity and gas to customers in New England, is preparing to open its System Emergency Operations Center as another rain and wind event is forecasted to impact the area late tonight and into tomorrow.
According to the most recent forecast, wind gusts of 40-50 miles per hour or more are forecasted through the service region, with higher gusts possible in coastal areas. Additionally, 1-2 inches of rain are expected alongside high temperatures in the 50s, meaning rapid snow melt and localized flooding may occur as well.
Unitil secured additional crews in advance of the storm and will open its system and regional emergency operations centers in order to best coordinate response efforts.
“When we saw we were entering a period of unsettled weather this coming week, we recognized the potential compounding effect these successive storms could have on the system,” Unitil External Affairs Director Alec O’Meara said. “The existing snow, combined with warmer temperatures, heavy rain and high wind gusts all have the potential to contribute to very hazardous conditions throughout the day Wednesday.”
We recommend our customers prepare similarly by checking and making an inventory of the following items:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- Portable chargers and supplemental batteries for mobile devices
- Bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener
- Electric vehicles are fully charged in advance of the storm
- A first aid kit.
High wind gusts have the potential to damage trees and tree branches, which can in turn bring poles and wires to the ground. We urge people to always assume all fallen or dangling cables and wires are energized and stay away. Be sure to avoid wet ground or puddles near a downed line, as 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.
Localized flooding may occur as part of this event. Flooding and standing water in your home can pose serious hazards to your personal safety and property. Wet electrical wiring is extremely hazardous, and flooding can be harmful to your natural gas service equipment. More information on how to stay safe in flooding conditions is available at unitil.com/safety-preparedness/flooding.
Unitil will be communicating throughout the event 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 we will be providing real-time outage information online at 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 and understandable. Re-Tweets and re-posting of old information without referencing a time can create confusion.
Customers experiencing outages should call 1-888-301-7700 or report online at unitil.com/report-outage.