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Utilities work to restore power across NH amid widespread outages from snow, wind

Snowplows, like this one in Concord, were a common sight on New Hampshire roads during the spring snowstorm Thursday, April 4, 2024.
Zoey Knox
/
NHPR
Snowplows, like this one in Concord, were a common sight on New Hampshire roads during the spring snowstorm Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Tens of thousands of New Hampshire electric customers were still without power Friday morning, as heavy snow and strong wind gusts knocked down tree branches and utility poles across the state.

Eversource reported 40,000 customers without power and NH Electric Coop reported 24,000, as of 5:00 p.m. Friday. Unitil had roughly 3,000 customers without power.

Utility repair crews say they’re seeing broken tree limbs and downed power lines across the region. Heavy, wet snow and strong winds have brought down equipment and made it difficult for crews to make repairs.

Eversource says they have hundreds of crews working across the state, with more help on the way. Unitil says it expects to have full power restored to most of its customers by midday Saturday.

Granite Staters should report power outages to their utility and call 9-1-1 if they see a power line that’s fallen over. State officials caution residents never to run a generator indoors.

A combination of strong winds and high tide led to some minor coastal flooding Thursday morning. Wind gusts topped 50 mph, as freezing rain pummeled the Seacoast area and waves topped seawalls in a number of areas before 8 a.m. Several sidestreets around Ocean Boulevard in Hampton were closed Thursday morning due to flooding and have since reopened.

Schools across the state are closedor have late starts to classes on Friday to accomodate cleanup efforts.

With dangerous travel conditions, some public transit services curtailed services over the course of the storm. That includes COAST, which canceled bus service along the Seacoast for Thursday. Manchester Airport recommends customers check with their airlines.

Local utilities say they are preparing for a potentially long and messy cleanup. Alec O'Meara, a spokesperson with Unitil, said snowstorms this time of year can be especially challenging.

"Storms in the spring have the potential to have a lot of wetter, heavier snow with them," he said. "So when snow falls, when it's a little above freezing, it actually becomes that very pasty, wet, sticky snow that sticks to trees and tree limbs and branches and can bring them down."

NHPR's Kate Dario, Mara Hoplamazian and Olivia Richardson contributed to this report.

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