Unitil, (unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, is preparing for overnight impacts from a powerful nor’easter expected to impact the region tonight and into tomorrow.
According to the most recent forecast, heavy rains and wind gusts approaching 45-50 miles per hour are possible during the overnight hours, with higher gusts possible in coastal areas. Additionally, heavy rains are likely throughout the event, further saturating the ground. Such conditions have the potential to cause outages on the system, as otherwise healthy trees and branches may be brought down on lines, causing damage. Additionally, flash flooding may occur in some interior areas, causing damage and impacting regional travel.
"...the heavy rains will further soften the ground, making it easier for the wind to bring entire trees to the ground. Crews will be ready to go throughout the event and will be prepared to respond, should outages occur."
Media Relations Manager, Alec O'Meara
As part of ongoing COVID 19 protocols, Unitil proactively secured additional third party crews to bolster resources and is prepared to address system issues. Unitil will continue to monitor the track and intensity of the storm and will be prepared to further escalate response efforts should conditions warrant doing so.
“We are currently expecting a long-duration event, with hazardous winds possible in coastal areas overnight and well into the day tomorrow,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “Furthermore, the heavy rains will further soften the ground, making it easier for the wind to bring entire trees to the ground. Crews will be ready to go throughout the event and will be prepared to respond, should outages occur.”
We recommend our customers remain similarly prepared by 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.
The windy conditions have the potential to take wires to the ground. 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. 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.