Expenses during gas outage: What will National Grid cover?

NEWPORT, R.I. (WLNE) — Three days without natural gas, and for folks in Newport this unexpected outage is starting to get expensive.

Some are leaving water running to keep their pipes from freezing. Others are running space heaters powered by electricity. Many are racking up a hefty hotel bill.

“So I’ve been up every hour for the past two nights and a day to feed the wood stove because at least the pipes are not freezing,” said Karine Noack of Newport.

Karine and Alize Noack are staying put in their home, but with some new expenses.

“We have space heaters. the electric bill is going to go way up as a result,” said Karine Noack.

“We can’t cook anything. if we do have to eat out then we want to get paid back. we pay for our gas and if it’s off, then what are we expected to do?” said Alize Noack.

So will National Grid help them out? Right now the utility is committing to reimbursing folks for “reasonable lodging accommodation,” “reasonable meals” and up to $250 for space heaters.

“We have made declarative statements on specific things that are reimbursable,” said Terry Soblewski of National Grid.

But as for electricity, water, or services like plumbers to fix frozen pipes, Grid says those will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

“Given the variety of circumstances, it’s very difficult to speak in generalities about that. that’s why we encourage folks to save their receipts, submit their claim forms to national grid and we will reimburse everything that we can,” said Soblewski.

If you’re in need of a hot meal, free breakfast and lunch are being offered at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown, and all three meals at Gurney’s in Newport. You can also pick up vouchers for hotel rooms at either location.

If you need to file a claim with National Grid, you can find one here. You should also send an email to claimsdept@nationalgrid.com.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2019