National Grid putting extra crews on the road due to storm

Heavy, wet snow could lead to outages

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – With snow falling in western Massachusetts Thursday, the state’s largest utility company is getting ready. National Grid, which serves more than a dozen communities in western Massachusetts, is dispatching additional crews, to prepare in the event of any power outages.

National Grid told 22News they are in constant contact with state and federal emergency management agencies and the National Weather Service. They track the storm and make sure their infrastructure, such as power lines and transformers, are as stable as possible. But what they can’t control is nature, from the wind — to falling trees. So, if you’re a National Grid customer, and lose power, report it to National Grid. They prioritize outage restoration first to those who need power for medical reasons.

“We get our storm centers ready. We have storm centers throughout the state. We have periodic phone calls to track the storm. This happens even days before we know a storm is coming, but we also realign our crews and call in more crews if necessary,” National Grid spokesperson Amie O’Hearn said.

22News Storm Team Meteorologist Nick Bannin says that while widespread power outages are unlikely, the heavy, wet nature of the snow could weigh down tree branches, causing scattered outages through the area.

National Grid will have extra crews out through the night Thursday, and continuing through the day on Friday. The power company advises that you have a number of flashlights, at least one battery-operated radio, and a supply of batteries in your home.

They are also offering the following tips:

  • National Grid customers who experience an outage should call National Grid at 1-800-465-1212 to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electricity wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • 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 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 New England Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223.
  • Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.

To see how much snow is expected to fall in your area, check out the 22News Storm Team snowfall map.