Restoration and re-lighting process is fully underway

The latest from the City of Newport;

?? [ Update Saturday, January 26th, 9:45 p.m.] ??

Be sure to scroll down for the latest on the Restoration Process, where to find meals around town, what to expect next, and more. If you or your organization would like to submit any additional information, please email TShevlin@CityofNewport.com

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As of Saturday evening, we’re able to report that the restoration and re-lighting process is fully underway, with over 600 National Grid service technicians going house-to-house to restore gas service throughout the City.

Over the next few days, National Grid will be contacting impacted customers with an automated call when crews are ready to enter their neighborhoods to begin the re-light process. In order to help facilitate the process, all affected customers are encouraged to update their account information with the most up to date contact information, either by logging into your National Grid account, or calling 1-800-870-1664.

If you’re staying in your home overnight and are open to crews knocking on your door in order to re-light your appliances, National Grid asks that you leave a porch or exterior light on.

As a reminder, we ask that you please do not attempt to re-light any appliance on your own. Trained National Grid technicians will re-light everyone that is without service.

If you’d like to speak directly to a National Grid representative, a total of 19 National Grid Customer Service vans are stationed strategically throughout the city to assist customers with any questions or concerns they might have. A list of their locations can be found at bottom of this post.

Additionally, please be aware that National Grid crews must wear identifying tags and will generally not ask for customer account information

And finally, if you smell gas, please dial 9-1-1 and leave the premises.

WHAT’S NEW:

❗️? ALL Newport Public Schools will re-open on Monday with buses running on their regularly scheduled routes. Parents are asked that if their children are going to miss school due to the lingering affects of the outage, to please call the Newport School Department to report their absence.

? For those staying in area hotels, National Grid is asking that they do not check out until their gas service has been restored. If you need transport to or from your hotel, please call the Newport Fire Department at (401) 845-5934 to arrange transportation.

❗️With the restoration process ongoing, Gaudet Middle School will continue to remain open for as both a warming shelter and for food and lodging assistance. Hours of operation, however, will be limited to 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily until service is restored. National Grid customer service representatives as well as Red Cross volunteers will remain on hand to answer questions and provide regular meals for those in need.

? Lyft continues to offer 2 free rides to area shelters and hotels through 1/31 to any rider using the code: ReliefRides. Rides are limited to $15 each and are intended for drop offs to Gaudet Middle School, the Newport Marriott, and Gurney’s Resort.

? RIPTA is offering free rides throughout Aquidneck Island, with special shuttle service to Gaudet Middle School. Visit Rhode Island Public Transit Authority for more information on schedules.

?The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center Emergency Food Pantry is open Sun. 27th 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. for Newport residents displaced by the ongoing gas outage & in need of food. The center will have prepacked bags of food that can be microwaved or eaten as is. Bring your photo ID.

? RESTORING GAS SERVICE ?
Restoring gas service to those who have lost service will be a multiple day effort. This is a methodical process that will take some time (approximately 45 minutes per customer), and will require the following steps:

• National Grid gas technicians will need to physically enter all impacted properties. National Grid will never engage with a locksmith to enter unoccupied premises to turn meters on or re-light appliances.

• An individual over the age of 18 must be present on the premise for the re-lighting process to commence.

• If the customer is at their premises when technicians arrive, National Grid will either turn the meter on outside or enter the premises to turn on the meter and then re-light all gas appliances.

• Unlike the process in Phase I, National Grid will not enter the property without the customer on the premises.

• For the first 72 hours of the re-light phase National Grid will not be accepting individual appointments for technicians. The Company encourages customers to make themselves available at their premises during daytime hours.

• A specialized task force has been deployed focused on critical facilities to relight and support customer needs.

• For those customers who have winterized or had their systems drained (e.g. heating systems), National Grid will be unable to re-light their appliances until the system is back to normal operating conditions. Customers are encouraged to contact their trusted HVAC technicians in advance of the re-lighting process.

During the re-light phase, we’ll be posting updates to our Facebook page, as well as to the City’s website with information to inform affected residents of progress in restoring to gas to individual neighborhoods.

?? FOR MEALS & DINNER INFORMATION ??

– ? National Grid has secured $100,000 in Stop and Shop gift cards, which are being distributed at Gurney’s Resort, Donovan Manor, Florence Gray Center, and Gaudet Middle School.

– Breakfast will continue to be available from 9-10:30 a.m., and lunch from 11:30-1 p.m. at the Florence Gray Center, 1 York St, Newport through Sunday, Jan. 27th.

– The emergency food pantry at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is OPEN on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

– Hot meals will be provided once again at Gaudet Middle School on Sunday evening, courtesy of the American Red Cross

– Salve Regina University and the Newport Boys & Girls club will be serving hot soup at Donovan Manor for both lunch and dinner in support of the Red Cross.

– Blackstone Caterers will be delivering boxed lunches to the Mainstay Hotel, while dinners will be dropped off to the Mainstay, Ramada, Tiverton Casino Hotel, Wellington Resort, Quality Inn, and Harbor Bay Hotel.

– Food Trucks will also continue to be stationed throughout the City with FREE meals from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. They’ll be located at the following sites:

• Binge BBQ, of Newport, will set up a tent at Pell Elementary School
• LoBro Taco is open at 88 Broadway
• FanTex-Mexical Tacos Food Truck will host customers at the Newport Police Station,
• Poppy’s Waffles Food Truck will be stationed at the City’s King Park
• Haven Bros. Food Truck will be located adjacent to the Middletown Public Library on Commodore Perry Blvd. 
• And MacCray’s Seafood Truck will be located outside the Newport Marriott

– Senior meal sites at Edward King House, 35 King Street will also remain open while Meals on Wheels deliveries continue on schedule.

? FOR HELP WITH LODGING & SHOWER INFORMATION ?

– National Grid is continuing to place those affected by the outage in hotels across the state, with vouchers still available for off-island stays. Additionally, out-of-pocket lodging expenses will be reimbursed by National Grid. Anyone in need of lodging assistance is asked to visit either Gurney’s Resort on Goat Island, or Gaudet Middle School shelter in Middletown.

– Shower facilities are being offered at Planet Fitness in Middletown and at the Newport County YMCA to anyone in need.

– ?The Potter League for Animals remains the primary point of contact for anyone in need of boarding facilities for the pets.

We encourage customers that are having difficulty in securing lodging to speak with a community liaison at Gurney’s Newport Resort or any of the open warming centers.

? FOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES ?

– The Beach Bounce at Easton’s Beach is open through the outage, with normal operating hours on Friday of 10-5 p.m., and weekend hours of 9-1 p.m.

– On Sunday Night, Thompson Middle School student are invited to the Newport Marriott for an Activity Night from 5 – 7 p.m. Stop by the front desk for location. TMS students are invited to join Ms. Raffa and Mr. Vieira for these two fun events designed to get kids out of the house for some fun! Please email Mr. Vieira (davidvieira@npsi.net) with any questions.

FOR EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE

– Eligible employees affected by the gas outage may apply for expedited unemployment assistance through the Department of Labor and Training’s website at www. dlt.ri.gov/ui/UIfaq.htm

– The Newport County Chamber of Commerce is also offering helpful information to business owners in need of securing capital due to the impact of the gas outage

OTHER QUESTIONS
.

If you have any immediate concerns, please dial 2-1-1.

And once again, if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for the City’s Code Red alert system to be notified of any further updates on the City’s website.

Non-emergency questions about service can be addressed by calling National Grid’s customer service number line at 1-800-322-3223. If you smell gas –call 1-800-640-1595 or 911

National Grid will cover the costs of reasonable lodging and meals, on a reimbursement basis, as long they are directly related to the current gas event. Customers should keep receipts, complete a claim form found at NationalGridUS.com/Aquidneck-Island, and mail it to the address listed or email it to Claimsdept@nationalgrid.com.

We understand how difficult it is for our residents to be without natural gas, and we are working round the clock so that life can return to normal as quickly and safely as possible.

?? CUSTOMER RESOURCE VAN LOCATIONS ??

All those affected by the outage are encouraged to stop by their nearest location to ask any questions you may have, and to learn more about the process going forward.
– Easton’s Beach, 175 Memorial Blvd. 
– Storer Park, Gladys Carr Bolhouse Rd.
– Miantonomi Memorial Park, Hillside Ave. at Dexter St. 
– Coggeshall Elementary School, 122 Van Zandt Ave. 
– Newport City Hall, 43 Broadway
– Cranston-Calvert School, 15 Cranston St.
– Newport Hospital, 20 Powell Ave. 
– Braga Park (South end), 60 Ellery Rd. 
– Braga Park (North end), 160 Kay St.
– Newport Gateway Center, 23 America’s Cup Ave.
– Bellevue Gardens Shopping Plaza, 181 Bellevue Ave. 
– Freebody Park, 22 Freebody St. 
– King Park, 67 Wellington Ave. 
– Salve Regina University, 167 Webster St. 
– Rogers High School, 15 Wickham Rd.

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