via National Grid media relations

On the heels of restoring power to more than 391,000 customers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts who were impacted by Winter Storm Riley last Friday, the company is ready to respond to potential issues resulting from the next Nor’easter.

National Grid remains in full storm response mode, with five storm rooms in Rhode Island and eastern central Massachusetts open to facilitate the response effort. Company officials are closely monitoring the weather forecast to ensure resources are in place for potential outages.

 “We are thankful for the tireless efforts put forth by our crews and for the patience of the public during Winter Storm Riley,” said Tim Horan, president and COO of National Grid in Rhode Island.  “Given the close proximity of these storms, we are already fully staffed with additional crews from around the country and ready for what this next Nor’easter may bring.”

More than 730 line crews and more than 300 tree crews – the full complement that responded to outages from Riley – are pre-positioned in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to be ready to respond to service interruptions that may result from the heavy, wet snow and wind that are being forecasted in some area.  In addition to National Grid crews, outside crews from 16 states and four Canadian provinces will support the restoration. Should the forecast change or the weather conditions change, crews can quickly be reallocated as needed. 
As always, National Grid urges customers to take precautions to stay safe before, during and after the storm, and provides several ways to stay connected and up-to-date on the important information about outages and service restoration.

Report or Check Outages

  • Customers can check or report power outages in the following ways:
    • Log into the report/check outage page on National Grid’s website. This is the best way for customers to check the estimated restoration time for their specific address.
    • Go to the National Grid app and click on “report outage.”
    • Call 1-800-465-1212.

Safety Messages
We are keeping safety a priority:

  • We urge customers to watch out for their own wellbeing and the safety of utility crews working during the storm. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe:
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.
  • People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
  • Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

Electric Safety

  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel.  Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
  • If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.
  • Reminder: It’s not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.

Gas Safety

  • Natural gas customers should closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or prevent CO from properly venting.
  • If  you suspect a natural gas leak:
  • Get Out – All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
  • Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency numbers:
  • Stay Out – Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.