National Grid announced tonight that 95% of customers impacted by the gas service interruption in Newport have had their meters turned back on and gas appliances re-lit by qualified technicians. More than 600 National Grid, mutual aid, and contractor gas technicians were out restoring service late into the night.  The Company urges customers who have remained in their homes to please leave an exterior light on to signal that National Grid technicians are welcome to knock on your door during late evening hours.

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.

“Our top priority throughout the restoration process has been to return as many customers to their homes and businesses as quickly and safely as possible,” said Terry Sobolewski, Chief Customer Officer and SVP, National Grid, US. “While we are pleased to have been able to turn on more than 6,000 meters in the past 36 hours, we still have more work to do.  As a dedicated member of the Newport and Middletown communities, we will continue our efforts to bring back those customers who are still without service.”

A number of the customers awaiting restoration may be seasonal residents that do not reside in Newport during the winter months; therefore, full restoration may not occur until those customers request restoration of gas service upon their return to the Island.

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 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.

National Grid will provide another update on the restoration efforts on Monday afternoon.  Time and location to be announced tomorrow.

National Grid provided the following update at approximately 11:15 pm on Sunday, January 27th;

Crews have made significant progress since they began re-lighting customers’ appliances in Newport this Saturday at noon. As of tonight, 95% of impacted customers have been restored thanks to National Grid, mutual aid, and contractor gas technicians working day and night. Nearly all Middletown homes have been relit as well, with the exception of those we have been unable to reach.

To help ensure your service is restored as quickly as possible, please make sure somebody is on the premises to give access to a National Grid gas technician. During late evening hours, please leave an exterior light on to signal that National Grid technicians are welcome to knock on your door.  Re-lighting takes an average of 45 minutes per home, as technicians monitor pressure and ensure all gas appliances in the business or residence are operating safely. Please verify your contact information online or call 1-800-870-1664 so we may contact you if necessary. 

As a reminder, every National Grid employee carries a photo ID card, and any contractor doing work for the company is also required to carry ID. If someone requesting entry into your home or place of business does not show an ID card, don’t let that person in and please call National Grid or your local law enforcement.