Juno packs a punch in New England
Though an historic storm brought record snowfall totals to parts of New England, power outages were not as widespread as expected.
Update, 10:15 a.m., Jan. 29: All but 175 customers in Nantucket have been restored.
The historic weather event meteorologists named “Juno” arrived Jan. 27 in the form of dry, fluffy snowflakes that started off light but eventually packed quite the punch. Nantucket saw the worst of the storm with the triple weather threat of a snowstorm, ice storm and hurricane all bundled into one, while New York City and upstate New York were spared significant amounts of snow. In New England, Juno brought historical amounts of snow, including in Worcester which set an all-time record as the largest snowstorm ever for the region with 34.5 inches.
While many were enjoying snow days at home, more than 14,000 National Grid employees were mobilized and ready to respond to a multi-day storm event that called for us to prepare for up to 30 percent of our customers losing power.
In the end, less than 1 percent of New England customers were impacted by the storm. The peak outages in New England were 16,000, and there were no storm-related outages in NY. This was terrific news for our customers and our employees. We fared very well with this storm for several reasons:
- Snow Type – The type of snow helped us. It was light, dry snow and inland winds were lower than forecast.
- Infrastructure Investments – Our millions of dollars in investments to our infrastructure has added resiliency to our electric system and helped it to withstand wind gusts that reached over 60MPH.
- Vegetation Management – Our tree-trimming program and all of the work we do with vegetation management paid dividends and minimized fallen branches and trees.
“We were well prepared for this storm,” says Dan Bunszell, National Grid Vice President of New England Electric Operations. “We are grateful to our employees for all of their hard work and to all of the state and local officials and first responders for their assistance and support before, during and after the storm.” He adds, “We especially appreciate our customers’ patience throughout this ordeal. We’re working as quickly and safely as possible to bring our remaining customers back online.”
Employees’ hard work throughout the storm has not gone unnoticed, from Facebook posts and tweets, to complimentary emails, and even random thank-you hugs from strangers. Customers were thrilled to have their power remain on throughout the storm. Instead of sitting by candle light, powering up generators, or worrying about perishable foods, the majority of our customers were able to enjoy the unexpected time off from school and work with the luxury of their power intact. We even heard about the homemade banana bread a customer was making!
While the storm is over, it’s also important to note that restoration work continues. We made significant progress overnight restoring service to about two-thirds of the approximately 12,700 affected customers on Nantucket. We expect the remaining, approximately 4,000 customers without power in Nantucket as of Wednesday afternoon to be restored by midnight. More than 45 crews boarded a ferry in Hyannis today, Wednesday, Jan. 28, to repair infrastructure damage.
In true National Grid fashion, we won’t rest until that last customer is restored. Thank you to the thousands of employees who worked and are still working Juno! Your efforts are being recognized and appreciated!