|
|
|
The Telegram
  • National Grid continues commitment, support for communities hit by flooding

  • National Grid continues to reach out to Mohawk Valley customers affected by the flooding from heavy rains late last week.

    Company officials said they are prepared to provide service to all customers whose equipment is safe to accept electricity and natural gas, and are working with those whose equipment was damaged to expedite repairs and inspections.

    • email print
  • National Grid continues to reach out to Mohawk Valley customers affected by the flooding from heavy rains late last week.
    Company officials said they are prepared to provide service to all customers whose equipment is safe to accept electricity and natural gas, and are working with those whose equipment was damaged to expedite repairs and inspections.
    As of Tuesday morning, approximately 1,700 gas meters and 700 electric meters have been locked off or removed because of flood damage to either the meter itself or the customer’s equipment that uses the energy, National Grid New York President Ken Daly said during a press conference at the Herkimer Fire Department. Daly said National Grid cannot re-energize those meters until repairs have been made by the homeowner.
    “Our crews have been working hard to complete the restoration of our system and make sure customers are safe,” he said. “Our job is not done until the last individual customer is reconnected, and the next steps are finding ways to help those hardest hit to make repairs or replacements so we can turn on their lights and get their gas flowing again.”
    Daly added more than a hundred gas and electric field workers have been working around the clock since Thursday evening conducting safety inspections and restoring service to customers affected by floodwaters. In addition, he said dozens of support personnel have been in the field to assist customers with safety information, lists of available inspectors and emergency assistance information and other matters related to their service.
    National Grid workers have also been conducting community and municipal outreach, providing dry ice and setting up information centers in the hardest hit communities.
    One such center has been established at the Herkimer Fire Department at 125 N. Washington St. where battery operated lanterns, bottled water, cleanup kits, carbon monoxide detectors, dry ice and other critical supplies are available.
    National Grid spokesman Alberto Bianchetti said workers have been going door-to-door in many areas making sure customers understand the steps required to have electric and natural gas service restored in the wake of floodwaters that damaged their property.
    “We’re using a variety of methods to reach our customers, but the most effective is proving to be going door-to-door,” he said. “We remind customers to check IDs. Crews will never ask for payment for services to inspect equipment or re-establish service.”
    National Grid Central New York Regional Executive Melanie Littlejohn said the company has launched a limited time inspection program, specific to National Grid electric and/or natural gas customers in Herkimer, Montgomery and Oneida counties affected by flood areas to restore electric service lost during the flooding.
    She said National Grid will reimburse a New York state licensed electrical inspector for the electrical inspection required before service can be restored to a home.
    Page 2 of 2 - The program is limited to one electrical inspection per property, up to $85.
    “No action is required on the customer’s part. Electrical inspectors in the affected areas are being informed a third party administrator will reimburse the inspection agencies for each electrical inspection they complete related to the June 2013 flooding,” she said.
    Littlejohn added customers will need to contact a qualified inspection agency for an appointment. Upon completion of the work, the inspector will ask the property owner to complete and sign a form verifying the inspection has been completed. The inspector will then contact National Grid to advise them the property may safely accept electricity.
    “The Mohawk Valley is home to many of our employees,” Littlejohn said Tuesday morning. “We continue to work hand-in-hand with residents, state and local officials and relief agencies to see our customers through the aftermath of the devastation.”
    As the recovery effort continues, Daly said safety remains a primary concern. An expedited process for re-connections is being communicated directly to affected customers, including the process for required safety inspections before services can be restored, he said. While crews make repairs and help customers assess damage, he said it is important customers take appropriate safety precautions with both electric and gas services and equipment during and after any flooding situations.
    “We understand that the recovery process is going to take time and we are prepared to be here for months,” said Daly. “We will be here as long as it takes.”
    Assemblyman Marc Butler was on hand for Tuesday morning’s press conference and thanked National Grid, as well as the various fire and police departments, service organizations and volunteers for their assistance in the aftermath of the flooding.
    “If the forecast is correct, it appears the worst is behind us and we can finally get to work cleaning up and rebuilding our communities,” said Butler, R – Middleville.
    He added his heart goes out to the families, businesses and farmers affected by the flooding and said his staff is available to help.
    “Constituents are encouraged to call my Herkimer office 866-1632 or my Johnstown office at 518-762-6486 if they are in need of assistance,” said Butler.
        • »  EVENTS CALENDAR