Thursday, December 11, 2014

National Grid: About 6,000 Still Without Power Should Have Power Restored Tonight

Dec. 11, 2014  National Grid has more than 600 electricity line and tree personnel working around the clock on restoring service to those who have lost power over the past few days of heavy, wet snow and ice. As power was nearly restored to those who lost it duringTuesday’s snow storm, additional rounds of heavy, wet snow continued to bring down trees, branches and wires in the following two days resulting in additional customer outages.
If no new outages occur through the day today, National Grid expects to have most of the 6,000 customers without power back on by late tonight, with the possibility of a few customers in the hardest hit regions of Schoharie and Warren counties back on early tomorrowmorning.
National Grid’s field force is focused on removing downed wires, repairing damaged equipment and replacing poles and wires that were damaged by three days of continued snowfall. Crews from central and western New York as well as Massachusetts are also assisting with restoration efforts. The company also has hundreds of employees working behind the scenes in support of the restoration efforts.
“This storm has actually included several storms over multiple days,” said Keith McAfee, vice president for upstate New York electric operations. “While we have made significant progress in restoring service, new outages occur as the heavy, wet snow continues to cause damage.”
Given the large amount of tree damage that brought power lines down, National Grid is urging the public to be particularly careful around wires that may be hanging low or on the ground. The public should assume that any wire they see is live, and stay away from it and anything it may be touching, including tree limbs. Downed wires should be immediately reported to National Grid by calling 1-800-867-5222.

Time-Tested Plan Restores Power Quickly
            National Grid emergency crews follow a time-tested plan to begin restoring service as safely and quickly as conditions allow. Accurate damage surveys, resource assessments and restoration estimates are critical in the preliminary stages of any major weather event. Credible and consistent communication with local public officials and the media is maintained throughout the duration of the restoration effort.
            First, crews clear away hazards such as live, downed lines. The clean-up of storm-damaged trees and branches removed from electric facilities remains the responsibility of the customer or property owner, whether private or municipal. 
            Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and high-tension wires that deliver power from generating plants. Recovery work at local substations is also a high priority, because power flows from transmission lines through substations on its way to you.
            Circuits and transformers in neighborhoods and the wires that connect them to customers’ homes and businesses come next—starting with areas that involve the largest number of customers. While waiting for your power to return, please know that we’re doing everything we can to restore electricity service as quickly as possible.

National Grid is keeping safety a priority
National Grid continues to offer the following tips to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety when storm-related power interruptions occur.
Electricity Safety
  • Call National Grid’s at 1-800-867-5222 to report a power outage.
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electricity wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • 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.
  • People who depend on electricity-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’sCustomer Service Center at 1-800-642-4272.
  • Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period
Gas safety
  • The build up of ice and snow around or over gas meters and vents for natural gas appliances could pose a serious safety risk. Ice and snow falling from a roof can damage gas meters or service connections to customers’ homes or businesses, resulting in a gas leak.
  • Ice and snow blocking vents could cause carbon monoxide (CO) to back up into a building and result in carbon monoxide poisoning for those inside.
  • To avoid these dangers, National Grid advises natural gas customers to closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or prevent CO from properly venting.
  • National Grid advises that you take immediate action anytime you suspect a natural gas leak:
Get Out - All occupants should leave the house immediately. Open windows to ventilate. 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 number: 1-800-892-2345 in upstate New York.
Stay Out - Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.
Carbon Monoxide Symptoms
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to those of the flu. Depending upon the amount of carbon monoxide in the air and length of exposure, symptoms may include headaches, weakness, confusion, chest tightness, skin redness, dizziness, nausea, sleepiness, fluttering of the heart or loss of muscle control.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply; then call 911. If symptoms are severe, get medical attention right away.

National Grid provides a number of channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. Customers can receive text message alerts and updates by texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743) or follow the storm on their mobile devices by using the National Grid mobile app. The company provides real time outage information on its Outage Central web site.
E-mail alerts are also available to customers who create an online profile on the company’s website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.

About National Grid 

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of the greatest challenges facing our society: creating new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins 21st century economic prosperity.

In the northeast U.S., we connect close to seven million gas and electricity customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in MassachusettsNew York and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New YorkMassachusetts and Rhode Island. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country. 

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