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As storm cleanup continues, National Grid urges extreme caution with electricity services

by jmaloni

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Sat, Nov 22nd 2014 07:00 am

Reminder to keep safety the priority with potential for flooding after heavy snow

As frigid temperatures, ice and snow begin to thaw, the potential for localized flooding increases. National Grid crews, as always, are ready to respond to any damage that may result from flooding, and the company urges customers to be extremely cautious when dealing with any electricity service that may be at risk.

"Safety of the public and our employees is always our first priority," said Ken Daly, National Grid' New York president. "National Grid is experienced in managing flood events and has a plan in place to assess damage and restore service as quickly as possible should flooding pose a threat. We are ready, and we urge our customers to be ready as well."

The company offers the following safety tips for customers in any sort of flooding situation that might impact electricity or gas service.

•Stay out of flooded basements or standing water. Energized wiring, outlets and appliances below the water line may pose a hazard.

•To have electricity service restored once floodwaters have receded, contact an electrician to check your home or business to make sure it is safe to have service energized.

•If your main fuse box or circuit breaker box has been under water, or if National Grid was directed to shut off your service due to safety-related concerns, you must have the box inspected by a certified electrical inspector before service can be restored.

•If your appliances have been in contact with water, contact a qualified contractor to make sure those appliances are safe to operate.

•If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to only operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, be sure to 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 crews working to restore power.

•If you have lost 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.

•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.

National Grid contact information for emergencies is:

  • To report electric outages or downed wires: 1-800-867-5222
  • General questions about safety and service: 1-800-642-4272
  • Call before you dig: dial 811 or 1-800-962-7962

National Grid also offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety in the event power interruptions occur.

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

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

•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.

•People who depend on electricity 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 1-800-642-4272.

•National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid's outage line at 1-800-867-5222 immediately to expedite restoration.

•Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

To help customers stay informed, National Grid provides a number of channels for customers to learn about service issues and interruptions. Customers can receive text message alerts and updates through a free service the company offers. The company provides real time outage information at its "Outage Central" website at https://www1.nationalgridus.com/OutageCentral. There also is an app available for mobile devices.

Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service. Email alerts are available to customers who create an online profile on the company's website. All alert services can be started and stopped at the customer's request. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter. 

For more information visit, www.nationalgridus.com.

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