PSNH updates at 2:15pm 264,000 now without power

Over half of all PSNH customers are without power.

Outage Update #3 – 02/26/2010 2:15 p.m.

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Feb. 26, 2010 – As of 2:15 p.m., PSNH reports that approximately 264,000 PSNH customers (54 percent) are without power as a result of the fierce wind storm that belted through New York and New England overnight.

Adams Road storm damage, the silver wire is the high voltage PSNH line the black lines are telephone click image to view other Londonderry Storm images

Thousands of trees are down throughout the state as a result of this powerhouse storm, which caused hundreds of road closures and extensive damage to power lines and electrical equipment. Crews are also dealing with flooding in some areas near small streams and storm drains.

Although power outages are widespread throughout the state, it appears that the Seacoast and Southern regions of New Hampshire were hit hardest by this storm.

Given the number of outages and road closures, the amount of tree and branch debris that must be cleared before power can be restored, and PSNH’s preliminary assessment of the damage, customers are asked to prepare for what will be a multi-day power restoration effort.

Crews Ramping Up
PSNH currently has about 220 line and tree-trimming crews—including 75 crews that arrived early this afternoon from PSNH’s sister utility Connecticut Light & Power—working to assess damage, clear debris, and restore power. PSNH continues to secure additional crews from within and outside the region. Crews will be working around-the-clock to restore service as quickly as possible.

Finding crews to help has been challenging, with widespread outages in eastern Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine occupying hundreds of utility and contract crews in the region. In all, more than 700,000 customers have lost power in New York and New England.

Power Restoration Priorities
The first priority for PSNH is to restore power to customers in emergency situations. This typically includes hospitals, nursing homes, police and fire stations, and customers on life-support systems. Major circuits and lines serving the largest concentrations of people are repaired next. Once the major lines are repaired, lines feeding off of these circuits can be repaired.

Another priority for PSNH crews is removing wires from downed trees that are blocking roadways, so that communities can safely clear the debris and open up the roads for use by residents and emergency vehicles.

Customers should be extremely cautious around downed power lines and/or damaged electrical equipment. Always assume downed wires are energized, even if they appear to be “dead,” and notify PSNH of their location immediately at 1-800-662-7764.