National Grid in a press release today said that it is preparing for a powerful storm that will arrive in New England this evening and continue through tomorrow, Christmas Day. The storm is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds and could lead to a multi-day power restoration event.

At the storm’s peak, winds could reach 70 mph, threatening to bring down trees and power lines across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

“We have canceled employee vacations, secured additional crews, and put emergency plans in place in anticipation of this severe, ill-timed storm,” said Michael McCallan, vice president of electric operations for New England. “We’re prepared for the storm and its aftermath. We recognize that no outage is convenient, and we’re particularly conscious of the timing of this storm, when so many of our customers will be celebrating the holidays at home during what continues to be a challenging year.”

Nearly 1,700 field-based workers in New England have been secured as part of National Grid’s emergency response operations. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers.   

The company has been preparing for the storm for days, and is continuing to monitor the weather, communicating with local officials, first responders, and life support customers.

The Company offers the following tips and reminders: 
 

Customers Should Stay Connected:  

  • Report power outages atwww.nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-465-1212. 
  • Use your mobile device to track outage information and storm-related safety tips through National Grid’s mobile site accessible atwww.ngrid.com/mobile. 
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram; we post all the latest storm and restoration updates. 
  • Track outages and estimated restoration times at www.nationalgridus.com/outage-central 
  • To stay connected during storms and outages, text to 64743 using any of the below commands. 
  • REG to sign up for text alerts 
  • OUT to report an outage 
  • SUM followed by your town, county, or state to get a summary of outages in your area 
  • HELP for the full list of commands 

Stay 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. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe. 

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).