Cleanup efforts underway across Rhode Island - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Cleanup efforts underway across Rhode Island

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By: Chloe Leshner


The nor'easter leaving tree branches and wires down all over the state and clean up is well underway today, as many are left without power.

Chain saws revving as tree crews get to work clearing a massive tree branch that fell in Barrington.

"It fell on top of 2 cars and then it was a disaster at that point we thought this big tree was going to fall through our den," says Jeff Cohen of Barrington.

At the same time across the street, another tree went down, snapping a telephone pole in half.

The nor'easter taking some by surprise.

"We knew it was going to be windy but I never thought this would happen, we've been here 30 plus years and never wind like this," says Cohen.

The Cohen's even evacuated at one point today, getting a visit from the governor too as tens of thousands are still without power.

"I am on Grid and they're doing the best they can but it's a lot of people," says Governor Raimondo.

The East Bay hit hard, stop lights black and utility crews spread throughout the state, working to get power back up.

The Governor says shes pleased with their work so far, but some might be without power until Tuesday.

"The problem is they couldn't go out and do their work last night because the wind was too strong. So they have the crews and they just have to work 24 hours a day until we're done," she says.

Some residents who are left without heat are frustrated about having to wait that long.

"I'm 86 years old and years ago, service was restored quickly. Today, they just let it go and we'll get to it. Its just different," says Vinny Teixeira.

National Grid called in extra crews for this storm. There are more than 200 additional crews here from all over the country and even Canada  to help with restoration efforts.

At peak, 150,000 customers were without power and as of Saturday evening, 70,000 customers have been restored. National Grid officials saying the goal is to have most people up by Monday with some having to wait until Tuesday. This storm much harder to clean up than the one in October.

"There were 150 poles that we replaced [in October] we're probably well over 200 we're going to replace in this one. When you can't get out in the wind conditions it's very challenging. We couldn't get out there and we just had the outages increasing. That storm hit us hard and then moved on so each one is different, we have to prepare for them differently," says Timothy Horan with National Grid.
They are asking customers to be patient as crews are out 24 hours a day until all power is restored.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018

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