Unitil Corporation, a provider of electricity and gas to customers in New England, will be proactively inspecting individual natural gas meters and services in the Hampton Beach area following unprecedented flooding earlier today.
Following reports of a record storm surge at Hampton Beach, Unitil received reports of some submerged gas service meters and regulators within the flooded area. While Unitil’s gas system itself has not been directly impacted by the flooding, door-to-door inspections will occur in order to ensure the area remains safe. Meters determined to be damaged by the flooding will be shut off and replaced.
Unitil is currently in the process of securing mutual aid to assist in the inspections and will be sending its mobile emergency operations center to the area when conditions are safe to do so.
“We will be talking with meteorologists to get a better understanding of what is expected in terms of additional storm surge over the next several days and will build our response plan around when conditions will allow for inspection work to occur,” Unitil External Affairs Director Alec O’Meara said. “We are taking this proactive step out of an abundance of caution, and wanted to notify residents at the beach we will be working in the area once it is determined it is safe to do so.”
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.
Natural gas leaks are usually recognized by smell, sight or sound. Do not use a lighter, mobile devices switch on/off appliances, light fixtures or even a flashlight in any area where you smell gas. These items can produce sparks that might ignite the gas and cause an explosion. Again, if you suspect a natural gas leak, immediately move to a safe environment and call 911.