National Grid is Beginning to Bring Pressure Back Into the System
As of this afternoon, we're able to report that National Grid has successfully completed its gas meter shut off process and is beginning to bring pressure back into the system.
As we now move into the Second Phase of the Restoration process, National Grid will be purging those gas lines located throughout the areas of City affected by the outage.
Please note that during the purge there may be an odor of natural gas in the area. National Grid and emergency personnel will be on scene monitoring the purging process. This process is scheduled to start within the hour.
Once the purging process is complete, National Grid will begin restoring natural gas service to those affected by the outage, with re-lighting beginning as early as Friday evening or Saturday. If you encounter a gas odor, please report it by dialing 9-1-1.
As a reminder, we ask that you please do not attempt to re-light any appliance on your own. Trained National Grid technicians will re-light everyone that is without service.
In order to help facilitate the process, all affected customers are encouraged to update their account information with the most up to date contact information, either by logging into your National Grid account, or calling 1-800-870-1664.
Additionally, please be aware that National Grid crews must wear identifying tags and will generally not ask for customer account information.
Beginning Friday, a total of 20 National Grid Customer Service vans are due to be stationed strategically throughout the city to assist customers as the re-lighting process gets underway. These vans will be critical points of contact for residents over the course of the final phase of operations, and we'll post a list of their locations as soon as they become available.
With the restoration process ongoing, Gaudet Middle School will continue to remain open for as both a warming shelter and for food and lodging assistance. Hours of operation, however, will be limited to 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily until service is restored. National Grid customer service representatives as well as Red Cross volunteers will remain on hand to answer questions and provide regular meals for those in need.
Community Potluck in The Point!
On Saturday, Jan. 26th from 5:30-8 p.m., all are invited to the Guild Hall at St. John’s Church in The Point, at 61 Poplar St. for a community potluck dinner. All are welcome to attend, and anyone with heat is asked to make your favorite dish, donate extra toiletries, or bring along non-perishable foods such as baby food, snacks, to benefit those in need. All leftover goods will be donated to local food pantries. For more information, email KatieSokol@gmail.com
Restoring gas service to those who have lost service will be a multiple day process. This is a methodical process that will take some time, and will require the following steps:
o Shut Off Gas Service: For those that had their gas service suspended, National Grid will need to go to their homes and ensure the meter is turned off. [ NOTE: THIS PROCESS HAS BEEN COMPLETE]
o Restore Gas Service and Relight Appliances: Once we know the system has been fully stabilized, service crews will need to go back into each of those homes to relight gas appliances. In order to help facilitate the process, customers are encouraged to update their account information with the most up to date contact information, either by logging into your National Grid account, or calling 1-800-870-1664.
During the re-light phase, we’ll be posting updates to our Facebook page, as well as to the City’s website with information to inform affected residents of progress in restoring to gas to individual neighborhoods.
Community Resources Available today include:
Breakfast and lunch will be served at the Florence Gray Center, at 1 York St. for anyone in need. Breakfast will be served from 7:30-9:00 a.m. and lunch from 11:30 am -1:00 p.m.
Shower facilities are also being offer at Planet Fitness in Middletown, and at the Newport County YMCA to anyone in need.
Senior meal sites at the Edward King House, 35 King Street and the Middletown Senior Center, at 670 Green End Avenue, remain open.
Parents interested in recreational activities for their children (ages 10-17) are encouraged to visit the Florence Gray Center where the Boys and Girls Club will be offering programming beginning at 9 a.m. Current and new members are welcome. For students that are presently enrolled in the after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club's Church Street location, the program will be relocated to the Florence Gray Center for the time being. Students must be enrolled in the program to participate. Hours will be 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. Children must be registered to attend. New participants (with signed application - available on site) will be welcome pending availability.
Families who receive part‐time childcare assistance through the Department of Human Services will have access to full‐time care during the outage period.
FOR MEALS & DINNER INFORMATION
- National Grid has secured $100,000 in Stop and Shop gift cards, which are being distributed at various points throughout the City, including at Gurney's Resort, Gaudet Middle School, Donvan Manor, and the Florence Gray Center.
- On Friday, Pell School staff will distribute food backpacks at 2 locations: From 8-11 a.m. at Pell School and from 9-5 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites, located at 317 West Main Rd. Food bags are available to ANY family regardless of the school your child attends.
- In addition, the following Food Trucks will be setting up across the City with free meals from 11- 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Binge BBQ, of Newport, will set up a tent at Pell Elementary School
FanTex-Mexical Tacos Food Truck will host customers at the Newport Police Station,
Poppy’s Waffles Food Truck will be stationed at the City’s King Park
Haven Bros. Food Truck is located at Long Wharf and America’s Cup Avenue
- Senior meal sites at Edward King House, 35 King Street and the Middletown Senior Center, 670 Green End Avenue remain open while Meals on Wheels deliveries also continue on schedule.
FOR HELP WITH LODGING & SHOWER INFORMATION
- National Grid is continuing to place those affected by the outage in hotels across the state, with vouchers still available for off-island stays. Additionally, out-of-pocket lodging expenses will be reimbursed by National Grid. Anyone in need of lodging assistance is asked to visit either Gurney's Resort on Goat Island, or Gaudet Middle School shelter in Middletown.
- Shower facilities are being offer at Planet Fitness in Middletown, Sail Newport, and at the Newport County YMCA to anyone in need.
FOR RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES
- On Friday Jan. 25th, The NFCOZ will provide a free child activity center from 9 a.m. -5 p.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites at 317 West Main Rd. in Middletown. They can accommodate up to 50 students from grade k-4 and will consist of enrichment activities including Lego center, iPads, stories, and arts and crafts. In addition, Chartwells Food Service will provide lunch on-site at the Hampton Inn. Childcare and lunch will be on a strict first come first serve basis. ID will be required at child pick up. For more information please call 318-1427. Food backpacks will also be disbursed at the hotel.
- The Boys and Girls Club will continue to offer activities for students age 10-17 from 9-2 p.m. at the Florence Gray Community Center. The B&G after-school program, usually held at the Church Street location, is now being held at the Florence Gray Community Center. All children that are already registered in the program may attend. If your child is being registered in the program please come sign your child up. Forms are available at the Florence Gray Center.
- The Beach Bounce at Easton's Beach is also open through the outage, with normal operating hours on Friday of 10-5 p.m., and weekend hours of 9-1 p.m.
- MLK preschool is open Friday 1/25 - they will be using the upstairs rooms which currently have heat. *use the main entrance on Dr. Marcus Wheatland Blvd. (the entrance with the ramp).
If you have any immediate concerns, please dial 2-1-1. And once again, if you haven’t done so already, please sign up for the City’s Code Red alert system to be notified of any further updates on the City’s website.
Non-emergency questions about service can be addressed by calling National Grid’s customerservice number line at 1-800-322-3223. If you smell gas –call 1-800-640-1595 or 911
National Grid will cover the costs of reasonable lodging and meals, on a reimbursement basis, as long they are directly related to the current gas event. Customers should keep receipts, complete a claim form found at NationalGridUS.com/Aquidneck-Island, and mail it to the address listed or email it to Claimsdept@nationalgrid.com.
We encourage customers that are having difficulty in securing lodging to speak with a community liaison at Gurney’s Newport Resort or any of the open warming centers.
We understand how difficult it is for our residents to be without natural gas, and we are working round the clock so that life can return to normal as quickly and safely as possible.