Unitil Corporation, (Unitil.com), a provider of electricity and gas to customers in New England, is preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Lee throughout the day Saturday as the powerful storm passes the New England coast on its way to Canada.
According to the most recent forecast, wind gusts of 40 miles per hour or more are forecasted through the service region, with higher gusts possible along the immediate coast depending on the storm’s ultimate track. A path further west would have the potential to increase coastal wind gusts, while a push further out to sea could further diminish impacts.
“Throughout the week we’ve seen significant changes to the possible impact Lee can have from small changes of just a few miles east or west to the forecasted track,” Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O’Meara said. “As with any tropical cyclone, we recognize the forecasted conditions could change significantly should the storm change direction again, meaning we must remain in a state of readiness throughout the weekend.”
Because of the potential of high impacts from Lee’s close approach, Unitil proactively secured additional third party crews from outside of New England early in the week as part of its preparations and is prepared to further escalate its response throughout the weekend in the event of a more direct hit from the storm.
We recommend our customers prepare similarly by checking and making an inventory of the following items:
- Flashlights and fresh batteries
- Portable chargers and supplemental batteries for mobile devices
- Bottled water, canned foods and a manual can opener
- A first aid kit.
High wind gusts have the potential to damage trees and tree branches, which can in turn bring poles and 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.