Hurricane Irene Update - Durham, NH - Monday, 8/29/11, 12:30 PM

Dear Members of the Community,

 

There remain a number of areas in Durham with roadways closed, and approximately 1,315 PSNH customers in Durham without power. 

 

The Durham listing of closed roadways associated with PSNH power lines is as follows:

  • Longmarsh Road at Route 108
  • Bagdad Road at Sophie Lane
  • Packers Falls Road 100 yards from Newmarket town line
  • Packers Falls Road near Jenkins Road in Lee
  • Durham Point Road at #360
  • Adams Point Road

In addition, two citizen calls have come in this morning with power line concerns:

  • 19 Garden Lane reports a large cluster of branches on lines that they fear will pull the lines down with a strong wind.
  • 74 Mill Road reports a large maple tree on the wires.

All of this information has been called in to PSNH. 

 

Town has been in touch with PSNH over the course of the day and will continue to do so until power is restored. 

 

If residents have specific concerns about road closures, please contact the Durham Department of Public Works at (603) 868-5578.  The Public Works Department is not able to remove downed trees that involve power lines hence the reliance on PSNH. 

 

DO NOT ASSUME PSNH KNOWS YOU HAVE NO POWER

Residents without power should not assume the power company knows that they have no power even if the outage was previously called in. 

 

At times, the utility company will address the problem believed to be causing the power outage and after doing so will “clear” the circuit with the assumption that all power service has been restored within that circuit even though it may not be fully restored.  If you do not let the power company know you still do not have power, the company will not know. 

 

If your neighborhood does not have power, don’t hesitate to let the Public Works Department know at (603) 868-5578 so that we can continue to advocate for power restoration in your neighborhood. 

 

THE LATEST FROM PSNH

The PSNH Epping Work Center which services Durham is at this time centering its efforts on restoring a main transmission line along Route 4 which will restore power to areas of Madbury, Lee, Barrington, and Strafford. 

 

Unfortunately, a Hydro-Quebec Power reinforcement caravan routed to the Epping Work Center was recalled to Canada in the early hours of the morning to address Hurricane Irene damage in Canada.  These additional crews from Hydro-Quebec were scheduled to arrive this morning as reinforcement for local work center crews. 

 

WHO TO CALL TO REPORT A POWER OUTAGE

During a power outage, residents who obtain power from Public Service of New Hampshire should contact PSNH directly at 1-800-662-7764 to report their outage.

 

For a limited number of Durham households who obtain electricity from New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC), the phone number to report outages is 1-800-343-6432.

 

For a limited number of Durham households who obtain electricity from Unitil, the phone number to report outages is 1-866-761-6645.

 

DOWNED POWER LINES SAFETY TIPS

Residents are encouraged to be aware of hazards associated with downed power lines.

  • Consider all wires ENERGIZED and dangerous. Even lines that are de-energized may become energized at any time.
  • Stay at least 10 feet away from the wire.
  • Electricity can travel through the ground. Therefore, a live wire touching the ground can harm you even if you don't touch the wire.
  • Electricity can also travel through tree limbs. Never remove tree limbs or other items that are touching or near a downed wire.
  • Never use any object to move a downed wire.
  • If a broken power line should fall on your vehicle:
  • Stay inside the vehicle until help arrives, as your car may be energized.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and have them call for help.
  • If you must leave the vehicle, jump as far away as possible with both feet landing on the ground at the same time.  DO NOT touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time.
  • If someone makes contact with a downed power line, don't try to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911.

UNH HAS OPENED THE HAMEL RECREATION CENTER UP TO RESIDENTS AND STUDENTS FOR SHOWERS AND FOR USE AS A RESPITE AREA IF NEEDED

The University of New Hampshire has graciously opened its Hamel Recreation Center up to residents and UNH students for showers and as a respite location.   The facility is located at 128 Main Street, Durham, NH and is open at this time. 

 

WHO TO CALL IN DURHAM FOR GENERAL ASSISTANCE

If residents need general assistance, they may contact either the Durham Fire Department at 868-5531 or the Durham Police Department at 868-2324. 

 

Residents with an emergency are urged to call 911.

 

TUNE IN TO THE TOWN’S LIST SERVER FOR EMERGENCY INFORMATION AS WELL AS THE TOWN’S WEB SITE

As has been the case in the past, the Town has endeavored to issue public service alerts as needed to keep the community informed of emergency situations in town.  Please encourage people who may not regularly subscribe to the weekly “Friday Updates” to sign up to receive public service broadcasts via the “Friday Updates” broadcast system via a portal on the Town’s home page at www.ci.durham.nh.us

 

JOINT DURHAM-UNH OPERATIONAL COMMAND CENTER ACTIVATED FOR STORM EVENT

To ensure limited personnel were optimally deployed on Saturday, at 6 AM a Joint Operation Command Center was activated at the Durham Fire Department for police, fire, UNH, and public works forces. 

 

This approach proved extremely successful in Leaning up our emergency response.  Where two to three vehicles from various agencies were required in the past to confirm a problem and then direct the appropriate equipment to address it, now one vehicle was frequently able to handle the issue freeing up other staff to address myriad other challenges over the course of the day yesterday. 

 

Compliments are extended to the Durham Fire Department and Chief Corey Landry for this Kaizen suggestion.

 

FIRE DEPARTMENT WENT DOOR TO DOOR IN BENNETT ROAD NEIGHBORHOOD 

On Thursday afternoon, 8/25/11, firefighters went door to door within the Bennett Road/Cold Springs Road neighborhood encouraging residents to take appropriate precautions given the propensity of that area to flood and be cut off during heavy rain events.  If the neighborhood does become isolated due to flooding, the Fire Department will again endeavor to post a crew within the isolated area to provide assistance. 

 

FIRE LAST THURSDAY ON MAST ROAD

There was a serious structure fire this past Thursday morning at 256 Mast Road.  This is a UNH property occupied by maintenance personnel.  Occupants of the structure were not injured.  Two cats perished.  Three dogs were saved.  One dog was provided CPR by fire personnel and was miraculously saved.  Unfortunately, one Durham firefighter had to be transported to the hospital following the fire.  After an evaluation, the firefighter was released. 

 

We appreciate everyone’s patience as the Public Works Department and PSNH work to open roadways and restore power to residents.

 

Todd

 

Todd I. Selig, Administrator

Town of Durham, NH

T. 603.868.5571 || F. 603.868.5572

tselig@ci.durham.nh.us || www.ci.durham.nh.us