National Grid crews ready to respond to winds in Western New York

Weather

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — National Grid has increased staffing in preparation for Saturday’s high winds, extending evening and overnight shifts. More than 2,500 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers are ready to respond to damage that may occur.

The company is also reminding people that if a power outage occurs, customers can notify them at this link. National Grid’s release echoed what Regional Director Ken Kujawa said as part of Mayor Brown’s announcement Friday, people should avoid downed power lines and assume they are live and generators must be operated outdoors to prevent buildup of carbon monoxide. Downed lines should be reported to 1-800-867-5222 and generator operators should disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker in the electrical service panel.

As for those who depend on electrically-powered life support equipment, customers can register as a life support customer at 1-800-642-4272. In a medical emergency, dial 911.

The release also asks that Western New Yorkers keep working flashlights and an extra set of batteries at the ready in case of a power outage and to use caution while driving, as emergency responders and crews will be out restoring power. Additionally, National Grid reminds customers to check in on elderly family members, neighbors and others who may need assistance during an outage.

National Grid has also announced the activation of its comprehensive emergency response plan, which includes:

• calling in outside resources and mobilizing field and tree crews
• pre-staging crews and materials in areas anticipated to be most severely impacted
• proactively reaching out to elected, municipal and emergency management officials to keep
them updated on preparations and provide safety information
• reaching out directly to customers through traditional and social media, email and texts and
on their website to provide safety information and to urge them to be prepared
• conducting outbound calls to life support and critical facility customers to ensure they are
prepared

National Grid will be distributing dry ice and bottled water at locations expected to be hit hardest by the storm from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. They will also provide info on proper handling of dry ice and customers are asked to bring a bag or cooler to transport it. Distribution locations can be found at this link.

Customers with active accounts can text REG to 64743 for personalized alerts or text OUT to report a power outage. Live information regarding outages can be found at this link.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.

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