National Grid Mobilizes a Field Force of 2,300 Workers As High Winds, Rain Continue Across Upstate NY

Customers are reminded to keep safety a priority, connect to the company for updates

A National Grid field force of nearly 2,300 workers is active across upstate New York removing downed wires, trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards, focusing on public safety and restoring power to the more than 175,000 customers impacted by the ongoing, powerful storm that began Thursday evening. The dangerous wind conditions, that have carried gusts of more than 70 mph, are expected to continue throughout the day, bringing the potential for further power interruptions across the company’s 25,000-square-mile service area.

As of 8 a.m., the company has successfully restored power to 75,000 impacted customers. Hardest hit areas include Erie County, where nearly 30,000 customers are without power and Saratoga County, where 17,000 customers have lost service. Given the significant damage to equipment and trees, combined with new outages from the sustained storm, crews will continue to work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible in challenging conditions.

“This storm continues to impact our electricity system,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “As anticipated we’re seeing cases of downed wires in addition to broken poles and uprooted trees on our power lines. Our crews will continue to be out there in full force bringing service back to customers as quickly and safely as possible.”

The Restoration Process

The company’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and our crews by clearing away dangers such as live, downed power lines. Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and high-tension wires that deliver power to thousands of customers. Recovery work at local substations also is a high priority, followed by repairs to

neighborhood circuits, transformers and service wires. Click here for an infographic on the company’s restoration process.

National Grid continues to work closely with local officials to coordinate restoration efforts.  Customers are reminded to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. As always, all downed wires should be considered live and immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.

Estimated Restoration Times

  • In the early stages of a storm, restoration times on National Grid’s Outage Central site may be listed as “assessing conditions.” This is because debris, such as trees, tree limbs, and downed wires, must be cleared away so that infrastructure damage can be assessed and restoration plans can be executed.  Please see infographic below for a description of National Grid’s restoration process.
  • It’s normal for outage numbers and ETRs to fluctuate. The numbers can go up and down as we de-energize lines to make conditions safe for repairs. Additionally, there could be new outages that occur as the strong, damaging winds continue.
  • Outage Central Reminder: Our Outage Central page shows the estimated time of restoration for communities, and reflects the estimated time for the last customer in that community to have power restored. The most accurate way for customers to check on the power restoration estimate for their specific address is to log into our Report or Check Outage page.

Electricity & Generator Safety

  • If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.
  • Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. 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.
  • Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642-4272. (In a medical emergency, always dial 911.)
  • Keep a number of working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.
  • Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.
  • Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.


Stay informed and connected:

  • Customers can receive personalized alerts by text, email, and/or phone when an outage is detected at their property by enrolling in the company’s outage alert option. To register, text REG to 64743, enter your National Grid electricity account number and select your preferred method(s) of notification. Customers also can text OUT to 64743 to report an outage.
  • For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s Outage Central website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.


About National Grid

About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

Read more about our innovative projects in “The Clean Energy Promise,” an eBook written by National Grid’s U.S. president, Dean Seavers. For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram.


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