Dec 22, 2022
Rhode Island Energy Prepares for Incoming Winter Storm
Company has secured additional resources to expedite potential restoration efforts; encourages customers to stay connected and be prepared for potential outages.
PROVIDENCE, RI (December 22, 2022) – Rhode Island Energy has been monitoring the potential impact of a significant winter storm all week and is prepared for severe weather to hit our service territory starting Friday morning and lasting into Saturday. The storm is expected to bring strong winds, significant rainfall and the potential for coastal flooding. Current forecasts indicate the storm could cause damage to the electrical system, with winds potentially gusting over 65 mph and creating tree damage and power outages. Rhode Island Energy is prepared for the storms and will be ready to respond to outages.
“While no one wants to see a storm like this impact holiday plans, we know our customers are counting on us to be prepared, which is why we began preparing for such an event earlier this week,” said Dave Bonenberger, president of Rhode Island Energy. “We’ve secured additional line and tree crews in advance of the storm, and we will be coordinating our response with state agencies and municipalities across Rhode Island to address potential outages in a safe and efficient matter.”
RIE’s 1,100 employees will be ready to provide both field-based and back-office emergency response operations across the region. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires-down, transmission, substation, municipal liasons and call center staff. The Company has also secured hundreds of additional external line and forestry workers to assist with the effort. Crews will be staged across the state and ready to respond throughout the day and into the holiday weekend, should the impacts require a multi-day restoration effort.
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 Facebook, Twitter 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 RIEOUT (743688).
o Once registered, to report an outage, text OUT
o To check the status of your outage, text STAT
• 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.
• 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 will 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/.
About Rhode Island Energy
Rhode Island Energy provides essential energy services to over 770,000 customers across Rhode Island through the delivery of electricity or natural gas. Our team is dedicated to helping Rhode Island customers and communities thrive, while supporting the transition to a cleaner energy future. Rhode Island Energy is part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies addressing energy challenges head-on by building smarter, more resilient and more dynamic power grids and advancing sustainable energy solutions. For more information visit www.RIEnergy.com and stay connected on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
For further information: Ted Kresse, TRKresse@RIEnergy.com 401.799.7000