Rhode Island Energy Rhode Island Energy at the ready for late February storm

 Rhode Island Energy Rhode Island Energy at the ready for late February storm
Share it


Company has additional line and forestry workers to assist with restoration efforts;
encourages customers to stay connected and be prepared for potential outages.

PROVIDENCE, RI (February 28, 2024) – Strong winds and heavy rain have been hitting Rhode Island since Tuesday evening, and Rhode Island Energy (RIE) has put plans in place to help address potential outages. Coastal areas of the state have already seen wind gusts of more than 45 mph and current models indicate the storm could cause damage to the electrical system, with winds potentially gusting over 55 mph and rainfall amounts measuring between one and two inches. The storm is expected to make its way out of the region by late Thursday. Since 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, more than 6,300 customers have been restored after losing power.

“This is a challenging forecast in that we have warmer temperatures today, but we’re seeing almost 24 hours of rainfall, with strong winds that will be even more severe tonight as the cold front moves through,” said Dave Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “Our team has been tracking the storm closely, and we already have hundreds of additional line and forestry workers on the ground to assist with our restoration efforts.”

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 liaisons and call center staff. Crews are staged across the state and have been ready to respond since Wednesday morning. RIE will also be coordinating its response with state agencies and municipalities to address potential outages in a safe and efficient manner.

“The other element we’re tracking closely is the quick drop in temperatures,” Bonenberger added. “Hopefully the winds can help dry things out before the lowest temperatures settle in, which could cause some flash freezing; and it’s something that could create challenges for restoration if it happens.”

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.

·       Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, where we will post the latest storm and restoration updates.

·       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

Stay Safe: 

·       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.

Electric Safety:

·       If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors.

·       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.

Gas Safety:

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/.

Share it

LPR News