To respond to power outages and downed lines, National Grid mobilizing 850 electric line and forestry workers, the most since Ice Storm '98
Saturday, December 21, 2013 - 6:25 pm

National Grid says it has marshaled the largest contingent of electric line workers, tree trimmers, damage assessors and other support personnel since the 1998 ice storm as ice continues to cover the North Country.

Forecasts are calling for ice accumulations heavy enough to cause tree damage and the potential for extended power outages. said NiMo officials.

“'We have scheduled and pre-positioned a significant field work force of over 1,600 electric line workers, tree clearance, transmission, survey, and other emergency responders, primarily in the Northern Region of Upstate New York, “ said Kenneth Daly, President, National Grid New York.

“This sizable work force reflects significant support for the company’s upstate New York teams from National Grid's New England and Long Island operations, as well other New York utilities.”

The company expects to have full contingents of workers in all areas expected to receive bad weather. With forecasts calling for the worst of the weather to hit the North Country, a large of number of crews and support personnel are being moved to that region today in anticipation of starting damage assessment and restoration very early tomorrow morning.

The workforce being mobilized in the northern parts of the state will be the largest since the 1998 ice storm, and will include more than 850 electric line and forestry workers.

The massive contingent of field forces will be supported by hundreds more workers behind the scenes coordinating everything from safety briefings to lodging and food.

National Grid is also actively communicating with local municipalities and emergency responders in anticipation of providing community support and coordination of storm response.

When a power outage occurs, it may affect thousands of customers. National Grid says emergency crews follow a time-tested plan to begin restoring service as safely and quickly as conditions allow.

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, crews clear away hazards such as live, downed lines. The clean-up of storm-damaged trees and branches removed from 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.

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 restoration efforts.

Also, post National Grid’s emergency outage reporting number —1-800-867-5222— near your telephone so it will be handy if needed.