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National Grid Field Force Assessing Damage, Restoring Power After Powerful Storm Impacts Upstate New York
National Grid Field Force Assessing Damage, Restoring Power After Powerful Storm Impacts Upstate New York

Company urges 'safety first' after heavy rains, strong winds bring down trees, power lines

May 01, 2017

More than 1,000 National Grid workers are in the field ensuring public safety, assessing damage and restoring electricity service after a powerful storm blew through upstate New York last night. The heavy rains, cloud-to-ground lightning and high winds knocked down trees and tree limbs, which brought down power lines and dozens of poles, and caused excessive damage to other electrical equipment.

Approximately 65,000 National Grid customers were impacted at the height of the storm, with more than 51,000 of those customers in eastern New York, which sustained the most significant damage. The company has restored power to nearly 38,000 upstate customers and has hundreds of additional field workers in route to assist in restoring the remaining 25,500 customers without service in the east.

Given the destruction left in the storm’s wake, National Grid’s first priority was to make the area safe and complete a thorough damage analysis so that detailed restoration estimates can be provided. Given extensive damage in pockets of eastern New York, restoration efforts for some customers in that region will likely continue into the weekend. In the meantime, National Grid reminds customers to treat all downed lines as live electricity wires, and stay away from the lines and anything coming in contact with them.

“We are working closely with local officials to coordinate restoration efforts,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “Safety is our top priority. We’re asking customers to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. We also ask that drivers use extreme caution as they approach work areas, to ensure the safety of utility and other storm-response personnel.”

Electric Safety

National Grid asks customers to stay alert for electricity service interruptions:

  • Keep National Grid’s power outage reporting number – 1-800-867-5222 – on hand in case needed. In an outage, our customers should call this number immediately to expedite restoration.
  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Regardless of ventilation, never operate a generator indoors. Before operating a generator, be sure to disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker, located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could endanger our crews and your neighbors.
  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. If you see a downed line, report it immediately to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or your local emergency response organization.
  • Keep a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay informed, as National Grid keeps news media up-to-date on service restoration efforts.
  • In case an outage is prolonged, keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, along with some canned food and a manual can opener.
  • Our customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-642-4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 911.)

National Grid also advises staying tuned to local media for important announcements from emergency officials about possible evacuations or other emergency procedures. In most areas, information on storm shelter locations is available by calling 211. Also, please check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance in a service outage.

Stay Connected

National Grid offers several ways to stay informed and safe – before, during and after a storm:

  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit the Outage Central section of our website, www.nationalgridus.com. Customers who create an online profile on our website can also sign up for email alerts.
  • To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
  • Online and text alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request.
  • Other ways to stay in touch:
  • Click here for a video on how National Grid restores power after a major storm.

    About National Grid

    National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.

    Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities' long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization).

    For more information please visit our website, or our Connecting website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, find our photos on Instagram