The following was an email that Representative Carson sent to her constituents on Monday, January 28th;
Good morning – Monday January 28, 2019
I am sure that as I write this that many of you are safe and warm in your own homes, as am I. We had an awful week in Newport last week, but it seems as though we are out of the woods and getting back to normal. Now what? I am writing to say that the work continues.
We need to settle back into our own homes; we need to repair any residual damage that was caused by the crisis and we need answers. Both homeowners and Newport businesses want answers. Here is the direction that the aftermath is taking in the short term:
National Grid is still on the ground in Newport. They are closing shop at Gurneys on Monday but will be at the Discover Newport all week.
You are encouraged to go to see National Grid and complete a claim form for reimbursement. Currently, they are reimbursing for hotels, food, space heaters and locksmiths, if they needed to amend your lock to get into your property. I know you may have experienced other expenses – we are working on setting up a system to review those expenses.
Property owners who experienced additional expenses, like plumbers, are encouraged to save all receipts, take photos or video to document the damage and repairs. Ask your plumber to document that the repairs were needed as a result of the gas crisis.
A short-term loan fund is being set up for small businesses and I encourage business owners to contact the Newport Chamber of Commerce for more information.
Many more questions remain and I do not have all the answers today. But I will keep you informed to the best of my ability. Anyone is encouraged to call me at 401-523-1143 if they need answers now.
And now the long term and onto to the big question: how did this happen? I can assure you that policymakers, like myself, are beginning to focus on what questions we must ask and we are seeking to get answers. Along with other Assembly members from Aquidneck Island, I am working with the Governor’s office to determine our next steps to get answers and insure that this does not happen again anywhere in Rhode Island.
Above all, thank you Newport and Middletown. The response from our friends, neighbors, community organizations, and the business community has been outstanding. The long days, the running around, the emails, the rain, the texts, the reporting in social media – all contributed to a most successful recovery for all of us.
As always, I am Putting Newport First.
Representative Lauren Carson