Unitil Corporation, Unitil.com, estimates that a majority of customers impacted by the most recent storm will have power restored by midday Wednesday, with some single services, isolated pockets of significant damage extending into Thursday. However, new outages caused by a storm yet to impact the region may further extend all of these estimates.
“This estimated restoration time is based on our known issues identified during damage assessment and the expected amount of time it will take to restore power based on the conditions that we currently see in the field,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “What is unknown is the impact of another storm forecasted to reach the region tomorrow afternoon. This storm has the potential to not only slow work, but cause new system issues that would extend the effort.”
As of 5:30 p.m., approximately 1,500 Unitil customers are without power, down from an overnight peak of approximately 10,000. Of those, 1,100 customers are without power are In Massachusetts, with the remainder out in New Hampshire. Altogether Unitil has restored power to nearly 30,000 customers over the course of this event.
According to most recent forecast, a wintry mix of snow, rain and freezing rain is expected to impact the region beginning Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday. Both new snow accumulations and existing snow still on branches have the potential to cause additional outages on the system.
“We are fortunate to have seen snow unload from limbs during the day today, but we remain concerned about the compounding effect of these storms on the system,” O’Meara said.
Heavy wet snow has the potential to damage trees and to take wires to the ground. We urge all to always assume all cables and wires have fallen or dangling are energized and stay away. Be sure to avoid wet ground or puddles near a downed lined, 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.
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. You can also report outages online at unitil.com/report-outage.