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Monday will bring high winds that could knock out power for as many as 30% of National Grid Customers, the company wrote on Sunday.

National Grid on Sunday announced that they are preparing for a powerful storm headed towards New England on Monday. 

National Grid states that the current forecasts indicate that weather conditions could cause damage to the electrical system, with possible outages for many in the region. National Grid considers this a Type 3 event. 

For Rhode Island, National Grid says that means almost 30 percent of its customers could be impacted for 72 hours once it’s safe for restoration to begin.  For Massachusetts, they say that a Type 3 event means approximately 10 percent of its customers could be impacted for 72 hours.

As of 4 pm on Sunday, the National Weather Service was issuing a High Wind Warning for Newport, Block Island, Westerly, Narragansett, Bristol, Wester Warwick, Warwick, East Greenwich, West Greenwich and Coventry.

The High Wind Warning is in effect from 1 pm to 10 pm on Monday and South winds 25 to 35 mph with gusts up to 70 are expected. The National Weather Service says impacts, “damaging winds will blow down trees and power lines. Widespread power outages are expected. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

In National Grids statement, they say, ” The storm is expected to bring heavy rain, strong sustained winds, and high gusts across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The most severe weather is expected to begin after 8:00 am on Monday and continue through most of the day with winds beginning to subside after 8:00 p.m”. 

The current weather forecast from the National Weather Service for Monday forecasts;

  • Monday – Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 2pm. Patchy fog before 5pm. High near 54. Windy, with a south wind 21 to 26 mph increasing to 29 to 34 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Monday Night – Scattered showers and thunderstorms before 10pm, then isolated showers between 10pm and 11pm. Patchy fog between 7pm and 10pm. Otherwise, cloudy during the early evening, then gradual clearing, with a low around 46. Windy, with a south wind 21 to 31 mph becoming west 11 to 21 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 55 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

In the statement, National Grid says that they recognize the ongoing challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and has been monitoring the potential weather conditions for several days.  The Company has been securing additional resources to support potential restoration needs and collaborating with local and state agencies to ensure that it’s prepared for the storm and its aftermath.         

“National Grid has been closely tracking this storm for several days to ensure we have the appropriate plan in place for the forecast,” said Michael McCallan, Vice President of New England Electric Operations in a statement. “We know the nation and our customers are already experiencing an incredibly challenging situation with the coronavirus pandemic and we have been doing everything we can to keep the power going during these circumstances. That being said, if the weather throws a punch, we know it’s more important than ever that we ensure the safety of our customers and employees, and be ready to address the potential outages that may occur.”       

As part of its preparations, National Grid says that more than 200 external line crews have been secured to assist National Grid’s 200 internal line crews in the region.  200 forestry crews will also be ready to assist in the restoration efforts once conditions are safe to do so. Storm room operations and staging sites will be opened up in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. 

National Grid is updating their customers with the following information to stay informed and connected:

  • Report power outages at www.nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-465-1212.
  • Customers with active electricity accounts who text ‘REG’ to 64743 can have personalized alerts sent to them via text, email or phone call when they detect an outage on their properties.
  • Customers also can text ‘OUT’ to 64743 to report an outage
  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts. www.nationalgridus.com/outage-central
  • Visit their website: www.nationalgridus.com, follow them on Twitter and friend them on Facebook.
  • Information on National Grid’s pandemic preparedness and a customer Q&A can be found at www.ngrid.com/covid-19

High Winds & Local Bridges

As a reminder…

Pell Bridge

According to the Rhode Island Turnpike & Bridge Authority (RITBA), “travel accross the Pell Bridge may be restricted or prohibited for certain vehicle types under various extreme weather conditions, primarily during periods of unusually high winds. The roadway across the bridge is a state highway. Therefore, the allowance or prohibition of traffic is under the direct authority of the R.I. State Police. The Authority is also empowered to restrict or prohibit travel across the bridge.

Travel may be restricted when winds originating from directions perpendicular to the bridge are recorded in excess of 58 miles per hour. Prohibited vehicles during these period are typically panel vans, panel body/box trucks when empty, truck/trailer combinations when empty, house trailers, and motor homes. Closure of the bridge to all traffic will be considered if winds increase to a sustained 69 miles per hour in the above specified directions.

The restriction or prohibition of traffic across the Pell Bridge will be facilitated and enforced by the R.I. State Police”.

Mount Home Bridge

According to RITBA, “travel accross the Mount Hope Bridge may be restricted or prohibited for certain vehicle types under various extreme weather conditions, primarily during periods of unusually high winds. The roadway across the bridge is a state highway. Therefore, the allowance or prohibition of traffic is under the direct authority of the R.I. State Police. The Authority is also empowered to restrict or prohibit travel across the bridge.

Travel may be restricted when winds originating from directions perpendicular to the bridge are recorded in excess of 58 miles per hour. Prohibited vehicles during these period are typically panel vans, panel body/box trucks when empty, truck/trailer combinations when empty, house trailers, and motor homes. Closure of the bridge to all traffic will be considered if winds increase to a sustained 69 miles per hour in the above specified directions.

The restriction or prohibition of traffic across the Mount Hope Bridge will be facilitated and enforced by the R.I. State Police”.

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