During a long-duration storm event, a comprehensive system-wide damage assessment is essential for an efficient restoration effort and to provide accurate estimated times of restoration (ETRs) to customers. When there are multiple outages due to a storm event, the outage map reverts all ETRs to say 'assessing' until damage assessment is complete.
While crews are restoring power where possible and working with first responders throughout the event, Unitil must wait until the hazardous storm conditions pass to begin damage assessment. Once the storm wraps up, crews can then get a handle on the full extent of the damage, the repairs that will be needed, and how long it will take to restore all customers.
Damage assessment can be a lengthy process. Damage assessors must look at the entire system to determine all of the jobs that need to be completed. With that information, Unitil then looks at the number of crews that it has available and determines the number of hours that it will likely take to complete each job. After the calculation is made, the company is able to provide a clear estimate of when power should be restored. ETRs are then added to the Outage Map.