Some sound advice from National Grid

WALTHAM, MA – National Grid is preparing for the powerful winter storm, dubbed “Winter Storm Harper,” that is headed towards New England this weekend. The storm is expected to bring heavy snow, freezing rain, and ice across Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The most severe weather is expected to begin in the late hours of Saturday night and continue through most of Sunday. By Sunday evening the region will also face extremely cold temperatures.

Current forecasts indicate that weather conditions could cause damage to the electrical system. Heavy snow and ice could cause major tree damage resulting in power outages across the region. National Grid considers this a Type 3 event, meaning nine percent of its customers may be impacted for 72 hours or more. National Grid is collaborating with local state agencies and municipalities to ensure that we are well prepared for the storm and its aftermath.

“National Grid has been closely tracking this storm for several days to ensure we have the appropriate plan in place for the forecast,” said Dan Bunszell, Vice President of New England Electric Operations. “We are focused on maintaining the safety of our customers and employees, and we will be ready to address the potential outages that may occur.”

As part of its preparations, more than 350 external line crews have been secured to assist National Grid’s 200 line crews in the region. More than 290 forestry crews will also be ready to assist in the restoration efforts once conditions are safe to do so. Storm room operations will be opened up in Worcester, MA Hopedale, MA; North Andover, MA; Brockton, MA; and, in Providence, RI. Staging sites are also being set up in various locations across the two states.

We are keeping safety a priority:

We urge customers to watch out for their own well being and the safety of utility crews working during storms. Here are some tips to help keep everyone safe:

-Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.

-Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an especially good idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food.

-People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s

-Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

Electric safety

-If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.

-If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored.

-Reminder: It’s not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts. Our line workers begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.

We are updating our customers:

-Report power outages by going here or call 1-800-465-1212.
Receive text message alerts and updates when you text the word STORM to NGRID (64743).

-Use your mobile device to track outage information and storm-related safety tips through National Grid’s mobile site accessible by going here

-Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram; we post all the latest storm and restoration updates.

(press release sent to WSBS from National Grid for online and on-air use) 

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