Thousands in New Hampshire Without Power as Gusts Down Trees, Power Lines
Strong winds downed trees and power lines throughout the Seacoast on Monday, and hundreds of customers remained without power into the afternoon.
Outages could remain in effect into tomorrow, according to Eversource and the N.H. Electric Co-op.
Trees falling on the roadway also caused traffic headaches for commuters in multiple communities, closing roads and forcing drivers to find other routes.
As of 3 p.m., Unitil reported more than 1,300 customers without electricity, while Eversource reported nearly 17,000 outages and the N.H. Electric Co-op had more than 10,000 customers without power.
“Once we get gusts approaching or exceeding 50 mph, there’s a good chance there are going to be significant outages caused by trees and branches falling on power lines,” N.H. Electric Co-op spokesman Seth Wheeler said. “That’s what’s happening today.”
Locally, the outages were highest in Exeter, where at least 963 Unitil customers lost power, and Rochester, where 860 Eversource customers were without power. There were roughly 600 outages in Milton and Barrington and around 500 in Durham.
Dover had less than 200 outages, and in Rollinsford there more than 100 outages.
Effects from the wind storm appeared less serious along the Seacoast. There were several dozen outages in Hampton and North Hampton but just a handful in Portsmouth and none in Rye.
Eversource spokesman William Hinkle said crews have restored power to more than 85,000 customers throughout the day, most in fewer than five minutes. The rapid restoration was made possible through “smart switches” that re-routed power around downed lines.
The Electric Co-op said its crews were similarly hard at work to restore electrical service. Wheeler said crews from other states were assisting in New Hampshire, and that full restoration is likely to last until at least Tuesday.
“Restoration times for current outages will not be determined in most cases until overnight or tomorrow. Winds are expected to peak this afternoon and die down overnight, giving crews the opportunity to focus on rebuilding the damaged system,” he said. “Unfortunately, if you are without power at this time, you should expect to remain without power overnight.”
Unitil did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Seacoast Current.
Downed trees did more than bring down power lines. Large trees closed roads in Dover, Rollinsford and other Seacoast communities.
In Dover, Long Hill Road, Spur Road, outer Sixth Street and Cataract Avenue were among the streets closed due to fallen trees.
“Wind has toppled and loosened some trees, striking utility lines and causing some isolated power outages in different locations,” Dover City Manager Mike Joyal said. “Our police, fire and community services crews along with Eversource have been responding to various incidents today to remove trees, repair utility lines and reopen roadways.”
Authorities closed Main Street in Rollinsford near Stockdale Circle after a large tree fell across the road. The tree also brought down power lines and caused outages, according to the town’s police department.
Outages can be reported by calling the following numbers:
- NH Electric Co-op: 800-343-6432
- Eversource: 800-662-7764
- Unitil: 1-888-301-7700
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