Expanded field force working around the clock on repairs and restoration
√ Customers are reminded to keep safety a priority
A National Grid field force of more than 3,300 workers is active across upstate New York removing downed wires, trees, tree limbs, broken poles and other hazards, while focusing on public safety and service restoration after a sustained, powerful windstorm hovered over the region Saturday through early Sunday morning. The storm, which included heavy rain and wind gusts of more than 80 mph in some areas, has caused widespread and significant damage across the company’s 25,000-square-mile service area.
Crews have been working around the clock and, as of 10 a.m., have restored power to nearly 148,000 of the more than 215,000 customers impacted by the storm. Hardest hit were areas along the shores of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, including Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Monroe, Oswego, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
In preparation for the storm, the company activated its comprehensive emergency response plan, including securing additional resources and pre-staging crews and materials in areas forecasted to be most severely impacted. Additional crews from North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Michigan, Indiana and Ontario are arriving today to support the restoration efforts.
“This was an extremely destructive storm,” said Matt Barnett, National Grid’s vice president of New York electric operations. “We continue to prioritize public safety as we clean up the widespread damage that includes uprooted trees and downed power lines.”
Barnett noted that cleanup, reconstruction and restoration will be labor-intensive and time-consuming, with some outages in the hardest-hit areas of Western, Central and Northern New York potentially extending beyond 48 hours.
“In addition to our critical public safety activities, we are assessing the damage to our system and equipment in order to provide estimated restoration times,” he said.
National Grid continues to work closely with local officials to coordinate restoration efforts. It said, “Customers are reminded to remain aware of potential safety hazards such as damaged trees, particularly broken limbs that haven’t yet fallen to the ground. As always, all downed wires should be considered live and dangerous. All downed wires should immediately be reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.”
The company is distributing dry ice and bottled water today from noon to 4 p.m. at the locations below. Company personnel will provide information about proper handling of dry ice, and customers are asked to bring a bag or cooler to transport it.
Western New York Dry Ice and Bottled Water Locations:
JFK Community Center, 114 Hickory St., Buffalo
Niagara Falls Fire Station No. 8, 320 Hyde Park Blvd., Niagara Falls
City of Batavia Fire Dept., 18 Evans St., Batavia
Murphy Training Center, 665 Brigham Road, Dunkirk
Central New York Dry Ice and Bottled Water Locations:
Watertown CitiBus Garage, 544 Newell St. Watertown
Oswego Fire Department (back parking lot), 35 East Seneca St., Oswego
National Grid said, “The company’s first priority is to ensure the safety of our customers and our crews by clearing away dangers such as live, downed power lines. Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and high-tension wires that deliver power to thousands of customers. Recovery work at local substations also is a high priority, followed by repairs to neighborhood circuits, transformers and service wires.
Estimated Restoration Times
National Grid noted:
√ In the early stages of a storm, the restoration times on National Grid’s “Outage Central” site may be listed as “assessing conditions.” This is because debris such as trees, tree limbs and downed wires must be cleared away so that damage to equipment can be assessed and restoration plans can be executed.
√ It's normal for outage numbers and estimated restoration times to fluctuate as we deenergize lines to make conditions safe for repairs. Additionally, there could be new outages that occur if strong, damaging winds continue.
√ “Outage Central” reminder: Our “Outage Central” page shows the estimated time of restoration for communities and reflects the estimated time for the last customer in that community to have power restored. The most accurate way for customers to check on the power restoration estimate for their specific address is to log into our “Report or Check Outage” page.
The company is also encouraging customers to keep safety a priority with the following reminders:
Electricity & Generator Safety
√ If a power outage occurs, customers can notify National Grid online to expedite restoration.
√ Never touch downed power lines; always assume they are carrying live electricity. Downed lines should be immediately reported to National Grid at 1-800-867-5222 or by calling 911.
√ Generators used to supply power during an outage must be operated outdoors to prevent the buildup of deadly carbon monoxide. Before operating a generator, 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 endanger our crews and your neighbors.
√ Customers who depend on electrically powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should register as a life support customer by calling National Grid at 1-800-642- 4272. In a medical emergency, always dial 911.
√ Keep working flashlights and an extra supply of batteries in your home and be sure to charge all electronic devices before the storm.
√ Please use caution when driving near emergency responders and crews restoring power.
√ Be sure to check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.
Stay Informed & Connected
√ Customers with active electricity accounts who text “REG” to 64743 can have personalized alerts sent to them via text, email or phone call when we detect an outage on their properties.
√ Customers also can text “OUT” to 64743 to report an outage.
√ For real-time power outage information, online outage reporting, and in-depth storm safety information, visit National Grid’s “Outage Central” website. Customers who create an online profile also can sign up for email alerts.
√ Customers can read the latest company news, check outage status and report an outage by using the National Grid app.
√ Visit www.nationalgridus.com.
Niagara County Sheriff's Office Travel Advisory
The Niagara County Sheriff's Office travel advisory issued on Saturday has been lifted.
Empty Trailer Ban
The ban on empty tractor trailers or high-profile vehicles on the New York State Thruway is removed. It was previously in effect on I-90 between exit 42 and 61 in both directions, and on the I-190 in its entirety.
Motorists can download the free New York State Thruway Authority mobile app for iPhone and Android devices. The app includes real-time, thruway-specific traffic and navigation assistance, thruway service area locator, toll calculator and roadside assistance.