National Grid working to restore power to thousands after powerful Nor’Easter

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As a quick-hitting, powerful nor’easter roared through the region overnight and lingers into today, National Grid has nearly 1,300 field personnel in Massachusetts and Rhode Island responding to power outages caused by downed limbs, trees, and poles. The widespread storm brought heavy rain and higher than forecasted winds, with some peak gusts reaching 80 mph, leading to significant damage throughout New England.

While it appears the worst of the storm is over, National Grid says restoration efforts are being hampered by continued high wind speeds throughout the region. “Crews can’t safely restore power while up in buckets during high winds. Due to these weather conditions, customers should plan for a multi-day restoration event, with the majority of customers restored before Saturday night,” a press release from National Grid states.

Damage assessment is currently underway, and as this phase nears completion, National Grid will provide more information and tighter timelines on estimated restoration times.

““We know losing power can be frustrating for our customers, and we understand and empathize with this,” said Michael McCallan, VP of New England Electric Operations in the press release. “We have crews on the ground throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island, making repairs and working to restore power in challenging conditions as quickly and as safely as possible. We will not stop until every customer has their electricity back.”

National Grid says public safety is always the first priority. National Grid continues to collaborate with emergency officials to respond to 911 emergencies and wires down calls, and restore critical customers, such as hospitals. The company is also collaborating with state and municipal leaders on a coordinated multi-day response effort that focuses on public safety and then restoration.

Approximately 1,000 field personnel in Massachusetts and 280 in Rhode Island are responding to emergency 911 calls, assessing damage, clearing trees, and making repairs to electrical infrastructure. Damage assessment crews are patrolling infrastructure on the ground and by air with helicopter patrols to get a detailed understanding of the scope, scale, and nature of the damage to the network. This enables the restoration to proceed safely and efficiently and helps us restore power to customers more quickly. 

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The Bit Players

National Grid has restored power to more than 145,000 customers in Massachusetts and Rhode Island since the storm began last night. Additionally, National Grid has supported emergency responders on more than 900 requests for assistance. Restoration work is continuing as conditions are deemed safe. Peak wind gusts are still in the 40-60 mph range in some areas.

As of 2 p.m, approximately 107,000 customers in Massachusetts and 35,000 in Rhode Island were without power. As always, National Grid urges customers to stay safe, and provides several ways to stay connected and up-to-date on the latest safety and restoration information.

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 is 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 higher than 35 mph. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.