For Immediate Release: February 7, 2013
National Grid Prepares LIPA System for Impact of Projected Nor’easter/Blizzard on Utility Customers
Utility taking advance steps to respond to outages caused by heavy winds and snow
Uniondale, NY —National Grid is taking advance steps to prepare LIPA’s system for an incoming nor’easter/blizzard which is predicted to bring heavy rain, snow, localized flooding and damaging winds to Long Island, with gusts potentially reaching 60 mph. Weather forecasts are predicting this will be one of the strongest winter storms to hit our area this year. The storm is expected to hit New York and the Long Island area in full force mid-afternoon Friday and continue well into Saturday.
The storm has the potential to cause electrical outages for over 100,000 customers in Long Island. In anticipation of these outages, National Grid is taking numerous advance steps to prepare the system for the predicted weather and to position the company for an efficient and timely restoration effort.
Specific activities include:
- Securing hundreds of extra line crews, tree trimmers, and support personnel to support the more than 500 lineman and 150 tree trimmers on site and ready to restore power
- Confirming logistics for housing electric restoration crews from outside the area at lodging sites on Long Island
- Preparing all restoration equipment and inventories and pre-stocking strategic locations across the Island with wires, transformers, and additional restoration equipment
- Notifying all internal personnel of the impending weather to set expectations of working extended shifts
- Adding Call Center personnel and arranging schedules to allow extended coverage
- Proactively reaching out to critical care and special needs customers and facilities
- Contacting local municipalities to convey plans for coordinated tree and debris removal activities
- Coordinating efforts with town, state, New York City, county and local emergency management organizations
- Conducting daily calls with elected officials and local municipality leaders to convey information and establish open lines of communication
National Grid is closely monitoring the storm's progress on an around-the-clock basis and will continue to outreach via phone calls, media alerts, email blasts, press conferences and public service announcements via local radio stations. Additional storm information will be available on LIPA’s web site at www.lipower.org/stormcenter.
Customers can report power outages to National Grid through the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) hotline: 1-800-490-0075 or at 631-755-6900 or by visiting their Storm Central website at www.lipower.org/stormcenter from a computer or mobile device. To report via text messaging, text OUT to myLIPA (695472) - pre-registration is required. By reporting an outage and providing a contact phone number, customers can receive timely information regarding the status of the outage and estimated restoration times.
In the event of outages resulting from the storm, power will be restored to all customers affected as quickly and safely as possible. Given the projected severity of the storm, it is expected that most service will be restored within 24 hours, but some outages could extend beyond that time period. As such, we continue to urge customers to make appropriate preparations.
As the storm approaches, customers should take the following steps to prepare:
- Make sure you have a working, battery powered radio or TV and a good supply of fresh replacement batteries. Have flashlights available for all family members.
- If an electric pump supplies your water, fill spare food-grade containers with water for cooking and washing in anticipation of a possible power interruption.
- Make sure all motor driven equipment, such as garage door openers, can be operated manually.
- When using a portable generator, make sure all LIPA-powered equipment is disconnected. This will avoid severe hazards when reconnecting the power to your home or business.
- Have a first aid kit at home and check its contents to make sure they are complete and up to date. If you have family members with special medical needs, such as insulin or other prescription drugs, check to make sure you have an adequate supply.
- Do not use charcoal to cook indoors: deadly carbon monoxide gas can accumulate in your home.
- If you have an elderly neighbor, be a Good Samaritan and check on his or her status. Even a quick telephone call during a storm can provide much appreciated assurance that help is nearby if needed.
- Additional storm safety and preparedness tips and an informational video and guidance are available on the Long Island Power Authority’s (LIPA) Storm Central website at http://www.lipower.org/stormcenter/safety.html.
National Grid would also like to remind customers to be alert. Please drive carefully and exercise caution when driving near any of the repair crews working to restore power. If you see any downed wire, assume it is live and do not go near it. Report it immediately to 1-800- 490-0075 or at 631-755-6900.