PLYMOUTH, NH – Power restoration efforts are substantially complete following Winter Storm Elliot, which at its peak left 30,000 members of New Hampshire Electric Cooperative (NHEC) in the dark.

The combined force of NHEC, contract and out-of-state line crews battled high winds and brutal cold over four days to complete one of the largest recovery efforts ever mounted by the Cooperative. Winter Storm Elliott delivered two punishing rounds of high winds on December 23, which in many locations knocked out power repeatedly to the same members. As a result, crews in the field performed more than 100,000 restorations over the course of the storm.

Elliott’s winds packed gusts over 60 miles-per-hour, bringing trees and limbs down on power lines and breaking 96 utility poles. Damage to the NHEC electrical system was sustained in more than 500 locations. Though all parts of the state were hit with outages, storm damage was heaviest in NHEC’s Meredith, Ossipee, Alton and Raymond operating districts.

As crews make the last reconnections today on land, NHEC is preparing to take to the waters of Lake Winnipesaukee to survey the extensive damage that occurred on several islands there. NHEC serves nearly 1,000 members on island properties throughout its service territory, 400 of whom are without power on the islands of Lake Winnipesaukee. An aerial assessment of the islands yesterday confirmed that at least 12 utility poles and large swaths of trees are down on Bear Island alone. After a detailed assessment of the resources necessary to repair and restore power, NHEC will create a plan to safely transport people and equipment to the islands and conduct restorations. NHEC will be communicating directly with island members to inform them of its plans to restore service.

“For our members and employees, Winter Storm Elliott was one of the most significant, challenging events in years,” said NHEC President/CEO Alyssa Clemsen Roberts. “So many factors combined to make this a difficult experience for all, from the severe winds to the bitter cold that set in after it was gone. For many members, this was the second long outage in less than a week. For our line crews, it meant two consecutive weeks of 16-hour days in brutal conditions. We are so grateful for the patience and support of our members during this restoration effort. Your many kind words and deeds are greatly appreciated by the men and women in the field, as well as the support teams that keeps them going. As with every outage of this magnitude, we will conduct an after-action review to learn from what worked well and what didn’t. By our most important standard, though, this restoration was a complete success because all crews worked safely and everyone returned home at the end of their shifts.”

While substantial restoration is complete, NHEC crews will be in the field for the next several days replacing poles and making temporary repairs permanent. NHEC will also be working with members who sustained damage to the service line and meter housing that connects to their property. If a licensed electrician has made repairs to the electric service entrance and power is ready to be restored, please call NHEC at 1-800-698-2007.

About NHEC
NHEC is a member-owned electric cooperative that serves 86,000 homes and businesses in 118 New Hampshire communities. Learn more at and see pictures of storm damage on NHEC’s Facebook.