Unitil Corporation, (Unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers in New England, continues to monitor another round of wintry weather moving in this afternoon just as crews are completing their multi-day power restoration effort following Monday’s snowstorm.
Unitil’s System Emergency Operations Center remains open as the company prepares for the possibility of some additional outages that could occur with the arrival of the next storm system.
According to the latest forecast, snow is expected to overspread the area later this afternoon and evening and is forecasted to transition to a period of mixed precipitation with freezing rain overnight before changing to rain by Thursday morning. Total snow accumulations are expected to range from 2 to 7 inches, with the highest in the Concord, N.H. area.
While the snow will be drier at the start of the storm, the consistency is expected to become wetter as the changeover occurs, raising the potential for more scattered outages as heavy, wet snow collects on trees and powerlines – some of which are still stressed from Monday’s storm.
Winds are also expected to increase tonight, with widespread gusts of 25-35 mph and isolated peak gusts up to 40 mph.
“Our crews have been working tirelessly to get the lights back on for all of our customers since Monday, but unfortunately we’ve got another storm on our doorstep,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “While warmer temperatures and some sunshine yesterday helped melt some snow from trees in parts of the region, the combination of more heavy snow and gusty winds has the potential to damage trees and powerlines, which could result in additional outages.”
With power restored to the majority of customers impacted by Monday’s storm, efforts remain focused on customers with single service issues and those in isolated pockets of damage.
Customers who remain without power after their neighbors have been restored are urged to call Unitil customer service and report the outage again. Some of these customers may have service issues specific to their home and will require work by a private electrician before restoration can be completed. Once the work is complete, customers should call customer service to have restoration completed.
As the next storm bears down, it’s important to remember that 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 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.
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.