National Grid preparing to deal with potential storm damage in St. Lawrence County
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 2:34 pm

As St. Lawrence County residents prepare for a winter storm expected to last through Thursday, National Grid crews and support personnel are prepping for damage the storm may cause to the region's electrical network.

The National Weather Service says parts of St. Lawrence County could be covered by upwards of a foot of snow by Thursday morning. For up-to-date weather forecasts for your community, visit the NorthCountryNow.com Weather Page at NorthCountryNow.com/Weather.

“Safety of the public and our employees is always our first priority,” said Kenneth Daly, President, National Grid New York. “National Grid has had a wealth of experience with severe weather and has a plan in place to assess damage and restore service as quickly as possible. We are ready, and we urge our customers to be ready as well.”

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

Text the word STORM to NGRID (64743) to sign up for the service. Alert services can be started and stopped at the customer’s request. National Grid also provides storm and restoration updates through Facebook and Twitter.

National Grid advises customers to be prepared for service interruptions. It’s a good idea to have a number of working flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio and an extra supply of batteries in your home. A radio is a good way to stay in touch, as National Grid provides news media with timely information regarding service restoration efforts.

Also, post National Grid’s emergency outage reporting number — (800) 867-5222 — near your telephone so it will be handy if needed.

Safety tips:

• 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.

• 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.

• 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 1-800-642-4272.

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

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

When a power outage occurs in your neighborhood, it may in fact be affecting thousands of customers. How do we get customers back on line?

National Grid emergency crews follow a time-tested plan to begin restoring service as safely and quickly as conditions allow. Accurate damage surveys, resource assessments and restoration estimates are critical in the preliminary stages of any major weather event.

National Grid crews perform damage surveys as soon as possible during and after the weather-related incidents following established safety guidelines.

Credible and consistent communication with local public officials and the media is maintained throughout the duration of the restoration effort by in-person updates between National Grid personnel and state and local officials, regular media updates, and updates to Outage Central.

As damage assessments are underway, our crews clear away hazards such as live, downed lines. The cleanup of storm-damaged trees and branches removed from our electric facilities remains the responsibility of the customer or property owner, whether private or municipal.

Next come repairs to main transmission facilities, including towers, poles and high-tension wires that deliver power from generating plants. Recovery work at local substations is also a high priority, because power flows from transmission lines through substations on its way to you.

Circuits and transformers in neighborhoods and the wires that connect them to your home come next—starting with areas that involve the most customers. While waiting for your power to return, please know that we’re doing everything we can to restore electric service as quickly as possible.