National Grid: More than 7,000 customers without heat due to gas outages
Thousands of natural gas customers in Newport remain without heat for the second cold night in a row.
The slow restoration process is currently underway, after a pressure issue caused more than 7,000 customers to lose service Monday.
On Thames Street in Newport, National Grid trucks were seen Tuesday working in the neighborhood to begin the long process of restoring gas service, which ABC6 has been told could take days for some customers.
They alerted customers that they would be coming to their homes to carry out the work.
With another cold night ahead, the governor has urged everyone who doesn't have heat to find another place to stay.
The lack of heat is due to low pressure in National Grid's gas lines.
"I think about 9:00 this morning the pipe burst, so we didn't realize it was that cold," Andrea Bianco, of Newport, told ABC6.
Another Newport resident, Doug Booth said the temperatures in his house dropped throughout the day.
"It was just cold. It was about 50 degrees in the house. Right now it's 39," said Booth.
According to National Grid, they have upwards of a thousand workers on the ground working to restore service.
They also said while more than 7,000 customers are impacted, there are 10,000 people total affected by the issues.
"It's a full effort with the number of folks that the governor said that we've had out there addressing those issues, and we're continuing those going forward," said National Grid President Tim Horan.
However, it's a long process ahead. National Grid has to stop at every single home twice; once to turn off the gas, and once to turn it back on.
"We expect this situation will take days or a week or more before people are back online with their heat, so if you're still in your home, we are urging you in the strongest possible terms to get someplace safe," said Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Raimondo, along with National Grid, urged residents to go to either the warning shelter at Gaudet Middle School in Middletown or the National Grid information center at Gurney's in Newport to get a voucher for a hotel room.
Among them are Andrea Bianco and her two kids. They told ABC6's John Krinjack Tuesday night that they're staying at Gurney's tonight, but are trying to figure out what happens from there, with many hotels already sold out.
"It's so busy, Newport is totally packed with hotels so we had to figure out where we're going to go tomorrow...it's just something we deal with day by day," Bianco said.
Newport Public Schools also announced Tuesday that they will remain closed through the end of the week.
National Grid officials also assure residents this low pressure issue doesn't pose a danger, unlike what happened in Massachusetts back in September.
"It is not like the overpressurization in the Merrimack Valley. This is an underpressure issue," said Horan.
National Grid posted a link with answers to any questions customers may have, urging people to check on their neighbors and others who may be vulnerable.
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