United Illuminating Ready for Another Winter Storm, Urges Customers to Be Prepared-03.21.2018

03.21.2018  -  United Illuminating Ready for Another Winter Storm, Urges Customers to Be Prepared

ORANGE, Connecticut — March 21, 2018 (10 a.m. DST) — United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), is operating in storm mode as yet another snowy nor’easter bears down on the state. The company urges customers to prepare for the possibility of service interruptions.

UI storm readiness teams have been tracking the storm, holding planning meetings, readying crews and equipment, mobilizing employees for storm duty and making arrangements for additional resources in case they’re needed to help restore service. The company is coordinating preparations with state and local emergency management authorities. Also, after the storms earlier this month, UI completed a “sweep” of its electrical system to address lingering damage and mitigate threats to overhead wires and equipment.

Forecasts call for rain, snow and wind throughout Wednesday and into Thursday. The snow and wind are expected to intensify Wednesday afternoon, with gusts potentially reaching 40 mph. The combination of wet, heavy snow and wind has the potential to bring down trees and limbs, causing damage to overhead power lines and other electrical equipment.

UI reminded customers who rely on life-saving medical equipment to make arrangements and have a plan in case of a sudden or extended loss of electrical service. Life-support customers may also register with UI by calling 800-722-5584.

The company also warned customers to stay far away from downed lines, or anything that might be in contact with them. Even lines that appear dead can be dangerous. Report downed lines and other hazardous electrical conditions to UI by calling 800.722.5584.

Before a Storm:

  • Visit Outage Central at uinet.com for storm-related information and follow @UnitedIllum on Twitter to receive updates and other information.
  • Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios on hand, along with supplies of drinking water and non-perishable foods.
  • Make sure that smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices are fully charged.
  • Fill your car’s fuel tank.

Restoration Priorities:

UI follows an orderly process when restoring service that emphasizes public safety and seeks to make effective use of resources.

  1. UI’s immediate concern after a storm is public safety. Restoration teams work with towns and the state to de-energize downed lines, clear roads and restore critical facilities such as hospitals and shelters.
  2. Next, UI focuses on assessing damage and repairing the backbone of the electrical system: substations, transmission lines, circuits and primary lines. Crews visit locations where they can restore large numbers of customers at once.
  3. Then, crews restore equipment and lines that serve smaller groups of customers.
  4. Finally, crews focus on restoring remaining service lines to individual homes and buildings until every customer has service. This phase may begin while higher-priority work is already underway.

If You Lose Service:

  • Customers may report an outage using UI’s 24/7 automated phone system: Call 800.722.5584. To report an outage via mobile, text “OUT” to 839.884 (TEXT.UI), or visit Outage Central at uinet.com.
  • Keep sensitive electronic appliances such as computers, TVs and stereos plugged into a surge protector, or unplug them. They could be damaged if a power surge occurs when electricity is restored.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. For information about food safety, visit foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/refridg_food.
  • Never use a stove or oven as a space heater to stay warm. Only use space heaters intended for indoor use inside or in enclosed spaces, following the manufacturer’s instructions. If you are unable to keep your home heated safely and comfortably, call Infoline at 211 for resources that can help you and your family.

Home Generators:

  • Any generator that plugs into a home’s wiring should be connected via a transfer switch by a licensed electrician. Improper installation can damage the generator, or create hazards for utility employees working on poles, or even the general public. UI leases and installs an affordable automatic transfer switch that safely connects your portable generator to your electric meter to allow you to run your home’s equipment directly from your circuit breaker panel. Call 877.447.8743 or visit uinet.com/shieldandconnect for information.
  • If adding a natural gas-fired generator, consult your gas utility to ensure there is adequate pressure. Generators should be placed outdoors and away from doors and windows to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.


  • UI can only reconnect service if the electrical system on the property is undamaged and capable of accepting service. Any damage on the property owner’s side must first be repaired by a licensed electrician. To learn more, visit Outage Central at uinet.com and select “What’s Ours and What’s Yours.”

For more information, visit Outage Central at uinet.com and follow @UnitedIllum on Twitter.