Company secures additional line and forestry workers to assist with restoration efforts;
Company encourages customers to stay connected and be prepared for potential outages.
PROVIDENCE, RI (November 21, 2023) – As Thanksgiving approaches and Rhode Islanders are preparing to travel or spend time with family and friends, Rhode Island Energy (RIE) has been closely monitoring the path of this week’s pre-holiday storm. The storm is likely to arrive late Tuesday evening and continue throughout the day on Wednesday, bringing very strong winds and significant rainfall. Current forecasts indicate the storm could cause damage to the electrical system, with winds potentially gusting anywhere from 40 to 60 mph.
“There’s never a good time to experience an outage, but when it comes just a day before our customers are looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with their family and friends, we want to be as prepared as ever to ensure restoration can be completed as safely and efficiently as possible,” said Dave Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “That’s why we’ve secured hundreds of additional line and forestry workers to help get Rhode Islanders back online, should this storm impact the system.”
RIE will be ready to respond to outages with over 1,500 personnel providing both field-based and back-office emergency response operations across the region. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, wires-down, transmission, substation, municipal liasons and call center staff. Crews will be staged across the state and ready to respond once the storm arrives late Tuesday. RIE will also be coordinating its response with state agencies and municipalities to address potential outages in a safe and efficient manner.
“I know our teams and the emergency personnel across the state will be ready to respond to whatever Mother Nature brings our way. As we offer our gratitude for so many things this holiday, I want to thank each of them and their families for the sacrifices they may have to make to ensure our customers are safe and have their power restored as efficiently as possible,” Bonenberger added.
As Rhode Island Energy continues to prepare for the storm, we are offering the following tips and reminders to our customers:
Customers Should Stay Connected:
· Report power outages at RIEnergy.com or call 855-743-1102.
· Track outages and estimated restoration times online at: www.rienergy.com/RI-Home/outage-central/
· Sign up for alerts. To stay connected and receive outage updates text REG to 743688.
o Once registered, to report an outage, text OUT to 743688
o To check the status of your outage, text STAT to 743688
· If you encounter a downed wire at any time, assume it’s energized and stay away. If you see one, report it immediately to RIE 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 electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let us know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-855-743-1101.
· Check on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage period.
· Make sure your mobile devices are fully charged.
· Before operating generators, disconnect from RIE’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public.
· If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you know when power is restored.
· Just in case you lose power, it’s good to have an emergency kit on hand with food, water, medication, and any pet supplies you may need.
· Remember that candles can start fires. If you lose power, use flashlights instead.
· Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer as much as possible. Most foods in the fridge and freezer should last between 12-24 hours.
· For your safety and ours, please keep a safe distance from our crews.
If you suspect a natural gas leak:
· Get Out – All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
· Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call 911. RIE has a 24-hour gas emergency number: 1-800-640-1595.
· Stay Out – Do not return to your home until Rhode Island Energy tells you it is safe. Customers are encouraged to learn more by visiting https://www.rienergy.com/RI-Home/.