National Grid issued a press release today announcing that it is prepared for a powerful winter nor’easter to hit New England late Friday and continue through Saturday.

The storm is expected to bring significant snow accumulations, strong winds, and the potential for coastal flooding off Eastern Massachusetts. Current forecasts indicate the storm could cause damage to the electrical system, with significant snowfall and high winds creating tree damage and possible power outages.

UPDATED: National Weather Service issues Blizzard Warning for Rhode Island

“We’ve been tracking the storm for several days and making the necessary preparations for a safe and efficient response to address its impact,” said Michael McCallan, Vice President of New England Electric Operations, Maintenance and Construction in a statement. “As part of our emergency response plan, we have secured additional overhead and forestry crews and will be coordinating our joint response with state agencies and municipalities across Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

National Grid says that it has 3,621 field-based personnel as part of its emergency response operations across New England. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers. This also includes 912 external line and forestry crews they’ve secured to assist with the effort. Crews are in place and ready to respond. Additional line and forestry crews have been staged on Nantucket in advance of the storm

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

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The Company offers the following tips and reminders:   

Customers Should Stay Connected:  

  • Report power outages at www.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 at www.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. 

Gas Safety:

  • If you suspect a natural gas leak:
  • Get Out – All occupants should leave the house immediately.  Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
  • Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency numbers:
  • New England:1-800-640-1595
  • Stay Out – Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.

Additional safety information may be found at https://www.nationalgridus.com/MA-Home/Storm-Safety/.

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