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October 29. 2011 4:52PM

Storm updates: Heavy, wet snow leaves much of NH without power

No school Monday in Milford, Trick or Treating postponed to Nov. 5

MILFORD - Schools will be closed on Monday and Trick or Treating has been rescheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5, according to an alert sent by the Milford Fire Department.

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No school in Bedford on Monday, Trick or Treat postponed to Nov. 6

BEDFORD - There will be no school in Bedford on Monday. Trick or Treat has been postponed until next Sunday, Nov. 6, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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No school in Milford on Monday, Trick or Treat postponed

MILFORD - Milford schools have cancelled classes for Monday, Trick or Treat has been postponed to Saturday, Nov 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

"The conditions out there is just too concerning for us to ignore," said a statement from Milford Fire Department. "We hope that everyone understands and has a safe Monday. And remember, please don't touch any down wires and be safe with your generators."

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Regional shelter for Goffstown residents

GOFFSTOWN - A regional shelter for Goffstown residents will open at Manchester Memorial High School on Porter Street at 5 p.m. If you go, please call Goggstown Police Department at 497-4858.

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Durham, Lee, Madbury postpone Trick or Treating

DURHAM - Durham, Lee and Madbury, the towns constituting the Oyster River Cooperative School District, have all postponed Trick or Treating until Monday from 3 to 5 p.m.

The change was made because of widespread power outages in each town that would make trick or treating Sunday unsafe because of downed trees and a lack of lighting.

Town Administrator Todd Selig said in an email that officials moved trick or treating to daytime hours because they expect many to remain without power through Monday night.

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Unitil reports 39,000 without power in NH as of 1:30 p.m.
As of 1:30 p.m. an estimated 63,742 of Unitil's 103,000 electric customers system wide are reporting no power, down from an overnight peak of approximately 75,000. Of those customers, 24,732 of Unitil's 28,000 customers in Massachusetts are without power and 39,050 of Unitil's 75,000 customers in New Hampshire are without power.

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Portmouth postpones Trick or Treating till Monday

PORTSMOUTH - Trick or treat for tonight has been postponed until tomorrow, Oct. 31 from 5pm until 6:30pm. The Halloween Parade will follow at 7 p.m.

Police said the overnight snow storm resulted in the downing of many trees across city roads and sidewalks. Power outages also continue to affect some neighborhoods and lighted traffic signals. The power company advised that there may still be live power lines touching or close to the ground as well.

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Sharon under a yard of snow

SHARON - A Unionleader.com reader reports 36+ inchs in Sharon.

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Salem warns residents of downed wires hazard

SALEM - The Salem Fire Department sent a reverse 911 call warning residents of the dangers of downed wires throughout the town.

“This is still a very dangerous situation and we wanted citizens to aware that all power lines on the ground could be energized,” said Capt. John Brackett of the Salem Fire Department.

The fire department has responded to over 100 calls since the storm began Saturday evening, Brackett said.

At about 8:30 Sunday morning personnel responded to a single-car accident on East Broadway. The vehicle hit two utility poles, snapping them off at the base, before coming to rest in its side.

“We had to basically cut the roof off to extricate the driver,” Brackett said.

The driver was conscious, alert, and oriented at the scene, Brackett said. She was transported to a local hospital for what appeared to be non life-threatening injuries, he said.

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Brentood postpones Trick or Treating till Monday

BRENTWOOD - Trick or Treat has been postponed from tonight until tomorrow night from 5 to 7 p.m. due to the snowstorm.

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Fremont postpones Trick or Treating till Monday

FREMONT - The town has postponed Trick or Treat tonight due to the storm. Police said it will be held Monday from 5 to 8 p.m.

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POWER RESTORATION


  > PSNH updates


  > PSNH outages map


  > Unitil outages


  > Granite State Electric

SNOW TOTALS


  > NOAA


  > National Weather Service - Gray, Me.


  > National Weather Service - Boston

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Trick-or-Treat cancelled in Raymond tonight

RAYMOND - Trick-or-treating has been cancelled in town tonight because of storm-related hazards, including downed power lines.

A dispatcher at the Raymond Police Department said they were “seriously busy” when reached on Sunday morning. He said no roads are currently closed but power is out all over town.

He said residents should still try and stay off the roads for the time-being.

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Unitil: Damage assessment under way, no estimate on restoration time

HAMPTON – With the peak hours of the storm now having passed, damage assessors have begun the next phase of restoration, with a major push planned to assess damage and restore power where currently possible.

Local media outlets are reporting as many as 2.5 million throughout the region without power following last night's historic storm. Snow totals ranged from 5-7 inches on the seacoast of New Hampshire, 12-15 inches in central New Hampshire and up to 20 inches in north central Massachusetts.

As of 9 a.m. an estimated 63,611 of Unitil's 103,000 electric customers system wide are reporting no power, down from an overnight peak of 70,000. Of those customers, 23,749 of Unitil's 28,000 customers in Massachusetts are without power and 39,862 of Unitil's 75,000 customers in New Hampshire are without power.

Approximately 300 crews, some from as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada have been secured to assist with what is expected to be a multi-day restoration effort for the areas hit hardest by the storm, such as north central Massachusetts and the New Hampshire seacoast area. The crews provide specialized work and include line, tree, digger, damage assessment and wires down teams. Crews worked overnight on public safety issues in coordination with municipal emergency responders, while restoring power where possible.

No estimates on restoration time are expected until the damage assessment phase of the effort is complete. The damage assessment phase is a critical part of the restoration process.

“The region has been struck with a major weather event and it is important to stress patience while the damage assessment is ongoing.” Unitil Emergency Management Director Rich Francazio said. “Once damage assessment is complete, we will have a clear picture of how long it will take to restore power.”

Customers experiencing outages should call the following toll-free numbers:

- For the NH Seacoast Area: 1-800-582-7276

- For the NH Capital Area: 1-800-852-3339

- For Massachusetts: 1-888-301-7700

Downed wires continue to remain a chief hazard due to the unique conditions caused by this storm. Avoid wet ground or puddles near a downed lined because water conducts electricity. In addition, keep away from all flooded and debris laden areas because they may be hiding downed lines.

Power still on across most of White Mountains

Few power outages are being reported in the White Mountains. Public Service of New Hampshire reports outages in Eaton and Franconia, with 50 customers affected in Eaton and 93 in Franconia.

New Hampshire Electric Co-op reports 20 customers without power in Bartlett, as of 9:30 a.m.

In Conway, the snow started Sunday night around 6:30 p.m. and had ended by daybreak, with an unofficially measurement of from five to eight inches falling before it stopped.

- Sara Young-Knox, Union Leader correspondent


Trick or Treat tonight in Epping cancelled

EPPING - Trick or Treat is cancelled tonight and will be held Monday from 5-7 p.m. Much of the town is without power and police said there are safety concerns due to downed lines.

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Unitil plans to open its system and regional emergency operations centers at 6 p.m.

HAMPTON - 4:53 p.m. Saturday - Unitil Corporation, (www.unitil.com), a provider of natural gas and electricity to customers throughout New England, is opening its system-wide and all regional emergency operation centers at 6 p.m. tonight in order to coordinate its response to tonight's event.

According to the most recent forecasts, as much as 8-12 inches of heavy wet snow could fall with sustained winds in excess of 30-35 miles per hour and potential gusts up to 50 mph Saturday evening into Sunday. Such a storm this early in the season can have an elevated impact on electrical infrastructure compared to mid-winter or early spring due to leaves still on the trees creating a greater surface area for heavy wet snow. We are expecting substantial damage to the electrical system, which can extend the restoration period. Barring a change in the forecast, the above weather conditions have the potential to cause extensive damage requiring a multi-day effort in order to restore power safely.

Unitil has secured more than 300 field crews and over 1000 people working the event system-wide to respond to any outages which may be caused by this unique weather event and is continuing to reach out to third party contractors. Should the storm continue on its current track, the early overnight hours will be spent assuring the safety of the public by working with first responders to clear wires brought down by the storm.

"The high volume of wet, heavy snow expected to fall has the potential to cause extensive damage to the local electrical infrastructure," Unitil Media Relations Manager Alec O'Meara said. "Should this scenario unfold as forecasted, the first 24 hours of this restoration event would be spent working closely with first responders on public safety issues and assessing the total damage to the system."

We recommend our customers remain similarly prepared by checking and making an inventory of the following items:


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Red Cross prepares for snow

CONCORD - The American Red Cross of NH is busy preparing for the season's first winter storm expecting to impact a large number of NH residents today and throughout the evening. The Red Cross suggests that you become Red Cross Ready! Get a Kit. Make a Plan. Be informed.

You can be preparing your family now by following these suggestions. Begin stocking enough food and water for 3 days; consider foods that can be eaten without cooking and have a manual can opener. Locate at least one flashlight and a battery operated radio with fresh batteries on hand. Charge your cell phone and keep the car charger available. Replenish the first aid kit and be certain to have the medications your family needs. Provide shelter and water for your pets and livestock.

Minimize travel during the storm, if you must drive, carry a disaster kit with you. Listen to the weather forecast and dress in layers and insulated footwear. Fill your car gas tank to prevent freezing.

For more information, please go to www.nhredcross.org

All Red Cross assistance is free to disaster victims. You can help people affected by disasters, like residential fires as well as countless crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.nhredcross.org or call 1-800-464-6692. Contributions may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Hampshire at P.O. Box 2528, Concord, NH 03302-2528.


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