National Grid Hard at Work Restoring Remaining Massachusetts Customers Affected by March Nor’easter

By Media Relations

WALTHAM, MASS. – National Grid crews are blanketing the Merrimack Valley and North Shore restoring power to customers affected by yesterday’s storm.  While other parts of the state saw higher snow totals, these areas were pummeled by sustained high winds and damaging gusts as high as 77 MPH that brought down trees, utility poles, power lines, transformers and other equipment.  Customers will continue to have service restored throughout the day, with full restoration expected to be completed overnight.

Crews made very good progress yesterday and overnight. Over the course of the storm, approximately 16,700 customers were impacted in Rhode Island, where restoration was complete by 10 p.m. Tuesday.  In Massachusetts, during the storm more than 138,000 customers were affected.  As of 10 a.m. today, the company has restored service to nearly 119,000.

More than 600 crews, some from as far away as Michigan and Canada, worked the storm, supported by hundreds of other National Grid employees who reported for storm duty.  Last night, to expedite restoration on the North Shore and Merrimack Valley, more than 450 crews and supporting staff were re-deployed to that area.

National Grid Operations and Emergency Preparedness personnel worked closely with state and local officials so the restoration could be accomplished as quickly and safely as possible.  National Grid will continue to keep state and local officials and customers informed on the progress of the restoration until the work is complete.

In the storm’s wake, plummeting temperatures caused snow, rain and slush to freeze, creating potentially dangerous situations.  National Grid offers the following safety tips to help customers stay safe after the storm:

  • Call National Grid if you do not have power – In Massachusetts and Rhode Island call us at 1-800-465-1212 to report your outage
  • Stay far away from downed lines – 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.
  • Please drive carefully – slow down and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
  • Check on others – Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance if they do not have power.

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating a generator, 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.

Gas Safety

  • Clear gas meters and vents – The buildup 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.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning – 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.
  • Take immediate action anytime 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 number:
      • In Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325
      • In Rhode Island: 1-800-640-1595
  • Stay Out – Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.

Carbon Monoxide

The symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu. Depending upon the amount of CO 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.

Stay Connected to National Grid

National Grid provides multiple channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions during storms. Customers can follow the storm on their mobile devices by using the National Grid mobile app or texting the word STORM to NGRID (64743). The company provides real time outage information on its Outage Central web site at National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.

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