UNY Crews Near Completion of Wind Storm Restoration Effort
BUFFALO, NY – National Grid crews have restored power to 97 percent of the nearly 180,000 upstate New York customers who lost electricity after a damaging windstorm hit the region on Wednesday. The company expects the vast majority of the remaining 4,800 customers still without service (as of 3 p.m.) to be restored by late this evening, and continues to commit extensive resources until the last outage is repaired.
A field force of more than 1,100 has been at work around the clock in western New York, which was the most severely impacted portion of the company’s upstate service area. While services have been restored in most areas, intensive work continues in the particularly hard hit Genesee region, including Genesee, Orleans, Monroe and Wyoming counties.
Wind gusts in some areas exceeding 70 mph did extensive damage to trees and utility equipment. National Grid has had to replace more than 300 broken poles and 80 damaged transformers, including more than 200 poles in the Genesee region alone. Miles of distribution circuits have been repaired or replaced, along with service lines to individual homes and businesses.
“We deeply appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we continue to work around the clock to restore service as quickly and safely as possible,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “This was an extremely damaging storm and we are grateful that our western New York crews were assisted by their upstate counterparts, as well as National Grid crews from New England and from other utilities in New York and Canada. We also are grateful for the many police, fire, public works, municipal officials, Red Cross workers and other volunteers who did so much to support our customers and our communities.”
Littlejohn also recognized the support and generosity of the company’s upstate New York customers during this hardship. “Reports from the field poured in of customers offering thanks, coffee, gratitude and a ‘thumbs up’ as power was restored,” she said. “No one likes to be without electricity – even for a little while — yet the spirit of cooperation and understanding demonstrated by our customers has been remarkable.”
Once restoration is completed, National Grid crews will remain in the field for the next few days as storm clean up continues. In some areas, customers will continue to see significant utility activity as any temporary repairs are made permanent. National Grid urges drivers to use extreme caution as they approach work areas, to ensure the safety of utility and other storm-response personnel.
Additionally, customers are reminded to avoid downed wires. All wires should be considered live and should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222.
While National Grid expects power to be restored to all impacted circuits tonight, there may be instances of damage to individual customer’s electricity service. Any customer who remains without power should call National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 for assistance.
About National Grid
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain.
Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization.)
For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com, or our Connecting website. You can also follow us on Twitter, watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.