Thank you for your storm support!

A message from Tim Horan, Marcy Reed and John Bruckner

Bad weather in Rhode IslandOn August 4 many New Englanders woke up to the sounds of intense thunder, torrential rain and wind gusts as high as 80 mph as a series of severe storms passed through that morning.

Rhode Island bore the brunt of Mother Nature’s fury, quickly hitting a peak of 121,000 customers without power. The storms caused significant damage to 20 transmission and sub-transmission lines, 70 feeders, and created a tangled mess of distribution lines brought down by lightning, uprooted trees and damaged poles. The intensity of the storm in Rhode Island caught even weather forecasters by surprise.

Massachusetts had two weather fronts come through, one in the morning that caused 14,700 customers to lose power, and a second one later that afternoon that affected 22,700 customers.

Storm responseWe quickly mobilized in both states. We opened the New England Emergency Operations Center in Worcester, a storm room in Providence, and a staging area at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick. We had 65 crews working in Massachusetts. In Rhode Island we ultimately had more than 300 line crews, 120 tree and cut and clear crews, and 80 wires down personnel working to restore customers, with crews from eight northeast states and Quebec.

It takes a team of dedicated, skilled and hard-working people to restore power as quickly as we did. We had employees from RI, MA and NY all helping to support one another in a way that really exemplified teamwork at its best. We improve with every storm. By way of comparison, it took us nearly five days to restore 107,000 customers in RI following Superstorm Sandy, and we had advance notice to mobilize for that storm. These results reflect the work we’ve been doing to continuously improve our customer responsiveness in support of Elevate 2018. From the Rhode Island strike force teams that work directly with city/town public works crews to clear roads, and our boots-on-the-ground relationships with emergency responders and municipal officials, to our more robust communication efforts with stakeholders, all of the improvements that have been implemented from prior storms make a difference.

storm restorationWe are proud of all the work that everyone accomplished during this storm, from the visible work of our crews in the field to those behind-the-scenes handling customer and emergency calls, logistics, engineering, materials, crew meals and housing, communication and many other support functions.

We thank you for your efforts and want you to know that our customers THANK YOU too! See below for a sampling of the compliments coming in!

RI’s new Community Assistance Van gets put to work

Rhode Island Community Assistance van

Rhode Island’s Community Assistance van

Rhode Island has a new Community Assistance Van that was touring the hardest hit neighborhoods in Warwick during the restoration efforts. Many customers have shared their thanks to National Grid for getting the power restored. Below are two of many compliments that have come in.

Please pass along a big thank you to all the personnel working to get RI back on the grid…you guys have really rocked over the past few years! From hurricane Sandy to this freaky deaky storm that no one saw coming…heartfelt thanks for my electricity this evening! – Margaret

Just wanted to circle back to thank you for all your efforts in helping to get the power restored to the New England Tech campuses. This was certainly a unique storm situation, providing virtually no advance warning of its severity. While the absence of electrical power throws all our normal routines for a loop, the disruption is magnified for businesses and commercial entities, as you know. I cannot begin to imagine the impact this storm had within your world. In light of that, I was especially impressed with your approachability and “cool under fire” responsiveness. Personally, I am amazed that National Grid and its support network could recover and restore services as quickly as they did throughout the area, given the timing and the storm’s wide-spread impact and severity. Thanks again to you and all those that responded to our particular concerns amidst the broader challenge. Your intervention was greatly appreciated. – Pat

Video trending on social media shows intensity of RI storm 

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Video captured by Department of Public Works employees in West Warwick.

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