As of Sunday morning, more than 5,100, or 80 percent, of the approximately 6400 customers affected by the gas service interruption in Newport had their meters back on and their gas appliances re-lit. More than 600 National Grid, mutual aid, and contractor gas technicians have been working around the clock and restoring service since shortly after noon time yesterday, starting with critical facilities, including hospitals and schools, and critical care customers.
As of 8:00 AM, 100 percent of the 150 critical support facilities identified by the Town have been restored. The Company had encouraged customers to be at their home or business yesterday to grant access to technicians who were spread out across all neighborhoods.
The re-lighting process requires technicians to physically enter the impacted premises and re-light all gas appliances. Because of the time-consuming nature of this work, each customer visit will take approximately 45 minutes. An individual over the age of 18 must be present during the re-lighting process.
The Company notes that a number of Newport customers are seasonal residents and do not dwell in Newport during the winter months. They may not request restoration of gas service until they are back on the Island.
“We are a local company and we’re not going anywhere. Whenever customers who are out of the area come home and are ready to have their gas service restored, we will be there,” said Terry Sobolewski, Chief Customer Officer and SVP, National Grid, US.
National Grid reminds customers never to turn on their own meters or attempt to re-light their gas appliances. This is extremely dangerous.
The Company invites customers to visit www.nationalgrid.com/aquidneck where they can find updates on the restoration efforts, answers to key questions, , a list of hotels in the region, alternative heating options, and information needed for the claims process.