State bracing for ice storm
"It's certainly going to be some nasty weather. There could be significant ice accumulations, dangerous driving conditions and power outages," said Steve Capriola, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.
Gov. Maggie Hassan also announced Friday that the state's Emergency Operations Center would open to handle the storm.
Northern and central areas could see ice accumulations of up to a half-inch or even more, Capriola said.
The southern extent of the icing was still not clear Friday night. Capriola said southern New Hampshire will likely see more rain than freezing rain.
Manchester-Boston Regional Airport is allowing its parking lot to serve as a primary staging area to receive and deploy the additional crews.
"Ice is really public enemy No. 1 when it comes to power outages," said company spokesman Seth Wheeler.
The company also made sure that it has enough fuses and other supplies needed during a restoration.
Hampton-based Unitil, which also serves customers in the Concord area, has also reached out to third party contractors and secured 70 tree and bucket crews and an additional 50 "wires down and damage assessment support staff" to provide assistance. It will also open its regional emergency operations center in Concord Sunday morning, according to Unitil media relations manager Alec O'Meara said.
"That's one of the things we always have to cope with, the weather in New Hampshire, but we're also very fortunate that we have a proactive Department of Transportation that does an excellent job on our roads," said Janice Crawford, executive director of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Fortunately, with Christmas only a few days away, Crawford said the busiest shopping period is over.
The storm may prompt some people who visit their second homes or other getaway places in the area this weekend to decide to stay through Christmas, she said.
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