National Grid is Ready to Respond Today if High Winds Bring Power Outages to Massachusetts and Rhode Island
This is an official release.
The snow may be over, but with forecasts calling for high winds in Massachusetts and Rhode Island today, National Grid remains on alert and is ready to respond to any service interruptions that may occur.
In addition to high winds, flooding may affect coastal areas during high tide in both states. Company officials are paying particular attention to these areas and the Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, where wind gusts may also be very strong as the storm moves out to sea.
This weather scenario has the potential to create a number of hazardous situations, and National Grid is urging customers and the general public to take appropriate precautions to stay safe. Here are some important tips:
- If you lose power, call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212 or report it on to Outage Central at www.nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral.
- 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.
- Drive carefully and use caution when driving near any repair crews working to restore power.
- Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.
Electricity and 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.
- Remember, it’s not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.
Natural Gas Safety
- 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.
- 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. 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.
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 www.nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.