Hassan: Granite Staters Should Prepare For 'Days-Long' Outages

Nov 27, 2014

A downed tree in Londonderry
Credit Michael Brindley for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan said Wednesday's nor'easter was worse than the state's utilities and officials had prepared for. 

"We know this was a unique storm, the snow is heavier and wetter than predicted, and that’s really had an impact. But the utilities have been getting extra crews here as fast as they can, and I think they were planning for a significant event, but our weather experts tell us this is heavier wetter and more snow than they thought it would be."

Public Service of New Hampshire, the state’s largest electricity provider, reported 168,000 of its customers were without power Thursday morning, with the southern and central-eastern portions of the state hardest hit. About 18,000 Unitil customers awoke without power, while New Hampshire Electric Cooperative says roughly 15,000 customers were without power Thursday morning.

Saying she had convened a conference call with state agency leaders from New Hampshire's Emergency Operations Center, Hassan explained the full extent of what utilities and departments were dealing with.

"We want our citizens to understand that this is the fourth largest event like this that we’ve had in the state’s history, that it is going to be a multi-day event that there are going to be power outages that are going to take us days to repair."

With colder temperatures on the way for Friday, Hassan said she wanted Granite Staters to make plans to stay warm, to check on neighbors, and to follow safe practices during the outage. She also said the state was working on setting up emergency shelters and that residents should call 2-1-1 for shelter information.