Dear Members of the Community,
It will be at least several days before power is restored to all Public Service of New Hampshire customers across all of New Hampshire that lost power on Sunday. As of 11:30 a.m., PSNH reported about 90,000 customers were without power due to the impact of Hurricane Irene. PSNH line crews are currently working to restore power across the 159 impacted New Hampshire communities.
There remain a number of areas in Durham with roadways closed, and to our knowledge approximately 1,300 PSNH customers in Durham without power.
On a positive note, PSNH reports that as of 4:30 PM there were two powers crews in Durham and a number of tree crews were headed toward the community. We have received a report that a section of Packers Falls Road has had power restored.
PSNH is working to restore power to the Sprucewood assisted living facility on on Mill Road as a priority location at this time. PSNH reports that Packers Falls Road has been a challenge for them.
Residents are asked to let the PSNH crews go about their business when they are signted in town. A PSNH supervisor has contacted the Town to indicate that if we want the crews to go about resoring power, they cannot spend time in the field answering questions from residents. Please be considerate of this challenge on the part of PSNH employees.
Two PSNH trucks are also addressing power challenges in downtown Newmarket.
In speaking with colleagues and others over the course of the day today, it appears that Durham has more PSNH restoration activity this afternoon than any other community within the Epping workcenter area. PSNH is simply strapped for manpower as power crews that would typically assist NH are allocated elsewhere addressing power loss in CT, MA, VT, and Canada as a result of Hurricane Irene.
DURHAM CLOSED ROADWAYS
The Durham listing of closed roadways associated with PSNH power lines is as follows to the best of our knowledge given the fact that PSNH crews are now operational in town:
In addition, two citizen calls have come in this morning with power line concerns:
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.
WHAT WAS PSNH DOING TODAY IN DURHAM'S REGION?
The PSNH Epping Work Center which services Durham was earlier today centering its efforts on restoring a main transmission line along Route 4 which should 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.
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 I. Selig, Administrator
Town of Durham, NH
T. 603.868.5571 || F. 603.868.5572
firstname.lastname@example.org || www.ci.durham.nh.us