Company provides safety reminders as strong winds bring down trees, power lines
Albany, N.Y. — A National Grid field force of 1,400 workers continues to be active across upstate New York removing downed trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards, focusing on public safety and restoring power to customers impacted by the powerful New Year’s wind storm that continues to impact portions of the company’s 25,000-square-mile service area. The adverse weather, with winds in excess of 60 mph, is expected to continue throughout the day, bringing the potential for further power interruptions, especially in the hardest hit areas of the Capital Region.
The company has been closely monitoring the weather forecasts and increased overnight staffing and had additional crews arrive earlier than normal today in anticipation of the storm. Crews have been working since the early morning hours, and, as of 1 p.m., have successfully restored power to more than 66,000 of the 90,000 impacted customers. 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. Click here for a video on how National Grid restores power after a storm.
As always, customers are reminded to keep safety a priority by avoiding downed wires. All wires should be considered live and should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.
“We are working closely with local officials to coordinate restoration efforts,” said Melanie Littlejohn, National Grid’s New York vice president. “Safety is our top priority. We’re asking customers to remain aware of potential hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. We also ask that drivers use extreme caution near work areas to ensure the safety of utility and other storm-response personnel.”
Detailed damage assessments are ongoing in the hardest hit areas so that updated restoration times can be provided. The company offers the following guide for understanding the power restoration process:
Estimated Restoration Times
- In the early stages of storm cleanup, 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.
- 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 that are separate from the storm-related outages.
- 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 an 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 to your local emergency response organization.
- 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.
- Please drive carefully and use caution when driving near any crews working to restore power.
- Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
National Grid offers several ways to stay informed and safe – before, during and after a storm:
- For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit the Outage Central section of www.nationalgridus.com. Customers who create an online profile on our website can also sign up for email alerts.
- To receive text message alerts and updates from National Grid, text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).
- Other ways to stay in touch: Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nationalgridus or friend us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/nationalgrid