Power outages likely, National Grid prepares for storm

 By: Melissa Randall

Anthony Pontarelli has vivid memories of the blizzard of ’78.

“I was stuck at work all week!” he said.

This time around he’s not taking any chances. Pontarelli spent Monday afternoon stocking up on supplies incase the power goes out at his North Providence home. The winter blast is expected to cause wide range outages.

“Be prepared and hope for the best!” he added.

It’s advice Tim Horan, President of National Grid Rhode Island, hopes everyone will take to heart. He says the conditions of this winter blast may be so bad that customers could be in the dark for days. The utility will be working 24–7 during the storm.

“We’re fully prepared for this multi–day event. We have crews coming into the state, into the region from other parts of the U.S. as we have done in the past,” said Horan.

About 1,000 National Grid workers are on call, and will be out in waves. The will be servicing the hardest hit areas first. That’s why it’s important to have a back up plan.

“Generators would make life a little bit easier if you did have one and you lose power for and extensive amount of time. You can run your furnace off of it if you have to. You can run your fridge, a couple small appliances in the house if you need to at night,” said Jason Durand, Manager of the Lowe’s in North Providence.

Unfortunately trying to find a generator today is no easy task. Stores all across the area ran out yesterday. Even the display model went home.

Customers who do experience power loss should call National Grid’s outage line right away to expedite restoration. They are asking people to be patient.

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