Company urges customers to monitor forecasts and look out for downed wires and other hazards
ORANGE, Conn. — Oct. 31, 2019, 12 p.m. EST — United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc., is preparing for high winds and heavy rain associated with a storm that is expected to affect the region this afternoon through Friday.
These conditions could bring trees and limbs down on power lines, disrupting electric service and creating hazards. The storm’s timing may affect Halloween trick-or-treaters. UI urges customers to monitor forecasts and guidelines from emergency management officials as they make holiday plans.
Those who do venture outside are advised to be alert for downed wires and stay far away from them, as well as anything that might be in contact with them — such as fences, guard rails and debris. Downed wires can hide under leaves and puddles, and can be dangerous even if they do not appear energized. Motorists should never drive over a downed wire.
Current forecasts call for rain, sometimes heavy, throughout the day Thursday, with winds increasing in the afternoon and strengthening into the evening hours. Peak gusts could reach 45-55 mph or higher overnight. Customers should be prepared for the possibility of service interruptions.
UI has been preparing for the storm by creating staffing plans for restoration personnel, securing contractors, fueling and servicing vehicles, and ensuring adequate stock of equipment such as wires, poles and transformers. The company will work with local and state emergency officials to prioritize public safety and restoration of critical services.
UI will provide updates as necessary on its website and social media channels. The company offers the following tips to help customers prepare for the storm and stay safe.
Before a Storm:
- Sign up for Outage Alerts. Text “REG” to 839-884 to receive free text alerts if you lose service, and for restoration updates. Or, visit uinet.com for additional alert options.
- Keep long-lasting LED flashlights and lanterns on hand, along with a battery-operated radio, fresh batteries, drinking water, non-perishable foods and prescription medications.
- Fully charge mobile devices and store emergency contacts in memory.
- Fuel your vehicles and fill fuel tanks for generators.
Medical and Life Support Customers:
- Customers who rely on life-saving medical equipment should have a plan in case of a sudden or extended loss of service. UI medical and life-support customers should register in advance to ensure the company is aware of their needs. Call UI at 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI).
- Do not use a generator that plugs into your home’s electrical system unless it was installed by a licensed electrician via a transfer switch. Improperly connected generators can back-feed electricity into the outside grid and pose a danger to the public and to crews working to restore service.
- Carefully read and observe the instructions in your generator’s operating manual.
- Properly ground all portable generators.
- Never run a generator indoors, in an open garage, or near a window.
- Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running.
Report an Outage:
- To report an outage, call 800.722.5584 (800.7.CALL.UI). Customers can also report outages online at uinet.com; or text “OUT” to 839-884.
For additional storm readiness and safety information:
- Visit UI online at uinet.com
- • Find UI on facebook.com/unitedilluminating
- • Follow @UnitedIllum on Twitter
Additional storm relief resources can be found by calling Connecticut’s InfoLine at 2-1-1, or by visiting www.211ct.org.
About UI: The United Illuminating Company (UI) is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Established in 1899, UI operates approximately 3,500 miles of electric distribution lines and 139 miles of transmission lines. It serves approximately 335,000 customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut. UI received the Edison Electric Institute’s Emergency Recovery Award recognizing the company’s response to the May 2018 storms that impacted its service territory. For more information, visit www.uinet.com.
About AVANGRID: AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) is a leading, sustainable energy company with approximately $33 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states. AVANGRID has two primary lines of business: Avangrid Networks and Avangrid Renewables. Avangrid Networks owns eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving 3.2 million customers in New York and New England. Avangrid Renewables owns and operates 7.2 gigawatts of electricity capacity, primarily through wind power, with a presence in 22 states across the United States. AVANGRID employs approximately 6,500 people. AVANGRID supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2019 by the Ethisphere Institute. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.