NEW: National Grid Warns of Extended Power Outages

Sunday, October 28, 2012

 

As Hurricane Sandy continues to track northward, National Grid continues preparing in Massachusetts and Rhode Island for potential high winds, torrential rains and flooding in low-lying areas.

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“We have been urging customers to take precautions and prepare for the worst case scenario,” said Kathy Lyford, National Grid New England vice president of Operations. ”Customers should prepare for the possibility of extended power outages. If there is extensive flooding along the New England coast, there also could be natural gas service interruptions.”

Weather forecasters are now saying that Sandy could be a storm of unprecedented magnitude. In fact, some forecasts anticipate that Sandy could affect more than 60 million people across the Eastern US, including National Grid’s electricity and natural gas customers in New England and New York State.

Lyford continued, “Once the storm passes and we see the extent of the damage it has caused, we’ll be able to better predict how long it may take to restore electricity and any natural gas service interruptions.”

National Grid has been, and will continue to stay in contact with local and state emergency and public safety officials. On Friday, the company’s community liaisons initiated contact with their respective local officials and first responders and they will be in touch with them again on Sunday or early Monday.

During last year’s October snowstorm, National Grid piloted a “community liaison” program, where an employee was stationed in the emergency operations center of the hardest-hit communities to serve as a direct link between community and company officials. The program was so successful that it was expanded and adopted as a best practice. Liaisons were identified, have been trained and will be posted in communities throughout our service areas in Mass. and Rhode Island. After the storm, the community liaisons will work with local officials to help facilitate communications and restoration efforts where outages occur.

Customers with Generators Urged to Take Precautions

Customers who plan to use generators should be sure to follow all safety instructions including disconnecting their wiring system from National Grid’s system before operating the generator. Failure to do so could cause serious injury – or worse – to crews working to restore power. Never, under any circumstances, use a generator indoors and be sure to keep it a safe distance from a home or business. Deadly carbon monoxide fumes can enter through an open window, door or other space. For more safety information and tips to prepare for Hurricane Sandy, visit National Grid’s website at www.nationalgridus.com .

Gas Safety

National Grid asks that you be on high alert for gas service interruptions caused by severe flooding.

  • If you smell natural gas, contact us as soon as possible:

--Massachusetts Greater Boston area: 1-800-233-5325; all other areas in Mass. - 1-800-548-8000

--Rhode Island - 1-800-640-1595

  • Stay out of flooded basements or standing water
  • Energized wiring and natural gas service below the water line may pose a hazard. If flooding causes a loss of service and floodwaters have receded, contact National Grid and we’ll send over a service technician.
  • For more storm information, go to www.nationalgrid.com/hurricanesandy
 

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