This is a note from Donna Gamache of Eversource regarding not only the upcoming weather situation but provides some information on how Eversource plans for emergency weather procedures. I thought this might be valuable information as we move into the winter season.
In anticipation of the arrival of a winter storm, I (Donna Gamache) wanted to provide some information to you concerning our preparations. We are bracing for the possibility of a multiple day event in some areas of the state.
The snow is beginning to fly in the westernmost areas of the state and will move across to the east and to the north throughout the day. Snow amounts are expected to range from 12 - 20 inches in the north country, 9 - 15 inches in western and central areas, and 1 - 7 inches in southern portion of the state toward the seacoast. The heaviest show is expected to fall between 5:00pm and midnight today, but a key factor in predicting the potential damage to our system is the water content of the snow. We are always concerned when snow is heavy and wet.
As the storm moves out, winds are expected to pick up. We anticipate gusts that will range generally from 35 to 45 MPH, with peak gusts near 50 MPH along the coast. It is these winds paired with the fallen heavy snow that has caused us to prepare for customer outages.
The Eversource Incident Command Center is opening today at 1pm to ensure an efficient restoration, should it be needed. Over night, we secured more than 150 contractor crews, including support from New Brunswick, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. These crews, in addition to our own, are being positioned throughout the state today to be able to respond as quickly as possible.
However, it is critical that we are aware of our local emergency operations, including police and fire, as they are in the best position to provide assistance to someone in need more quickly. Our focus during large outage events is to restore hospitals, shelters, gas stations and critical local municipal operations first as these facilities can provide assistance to the largest number of residents in need. We then move on to the general restoration activities after these are secured.
Finally, I wanted you to be aware that we began to alert our medically-coded customers yesterday afternoon of the potential for outages from the storm. We proactively reach out to these customers so they might have time to make arrangements for their safety. However, we are aware of the locations of these customers on our system for the most part, and we do what we can to ensure they can get power restored in a timely manner.
Each storm is different, however, and we can never guarantee how quickly this will take place which is why we urge these customers to seek assistance in advance.
Please feel free to follow us on twitter and to watch our outage map on our website at www.eversource.com for any information. I will provide updates as necessary during the storm.
Please be safe and stay warm and don't hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you may have.