RI National Grid, EMA preparing for power outages and damage due to winter storm

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE) – As snow sweeps across Rhode Island, crews are on standby to respond to any power outages and damage from Monday’s winter storm.

Ted Kresse, a spokesperson for National Grid in Rhode Island, said they’ve been preparing for this storm for days, and have requested backup for outages that might occur.

Kresse estimates that around 35,000 customers could lose power for up to 24 hours due to the heavy snow coupled with high wind gusts. The wind will be an issue for restoration crews, he said.

“If you have gusts over 35 MPH we’re not going to be able to have our men and women up in the buckets, so that could present some challenges especially going into the later evening hours when the winds really should be picking up. But, where we can do restoration we will, and will continue at it depending on the hour. We will be going around the clock getting power back up as quickly as possible if there are outages.”

He said National Grid has 130 line crews and 60 tree crews prepared to respond Monday.

If you lose power, you can report it here.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency wants Rhode Islanders to prepare for the storm by charging electronic devices, having non-perishable food, and check in on loved ones and neighbors.

“In this kind of a storm, I think it’s very important that even with COVID and precautions we have to take to check on each other. Check on loved ones, relatives, family, and any people that may be elderly or special needs, if you can, given covid and those restrictions. But, please, check on folks and make sure they’re alright,” said RI EMA Director Marc Pappas.

The RI EMA’s operations center in Cranston is normally bustling with employees during a storm, but due to COVID restrictions, most people are working remotely.

Pappas said despite that, everyone is working around the clock to ensure that Rhode Islanders will be safe through this storm and that municipalities have the resources they need.

He said they’re keeping their eyes on the potential power outages.

“It’s a complicated storm with a mix of rain and high winds. So, the high wind is very very concerning for us for power outage reasons, so we want to make sure we keep an eye on that closely just so critical infrastructure, places like healthcare facilities and group homes, and all those people that need power get the power they need.”

Click here to view a current list of power outages in Rhode Island.

© WLNE-TV 2021

Categories: Cranston, News, Regional News, Rhode Island