National Grid/Newsroom

National Grid's Line Crews Respond to Storms

March 11, 2024
The utility's field workforce restores power following severe weather in New York.

National Grid activated its line crews for storm response after severe weather struck its service territory in late February and early March. As of March 11, the utility increased staffing and extended work shifts due to forecasts of expected damaging winds and heavy, wet snow for portions of Eastern, Central and Northern New York. 

With wind gusts of up to 50 mph, and a foot or more of heavy, wet snow expected in some regions, the company supplemented its field force with external crews from Illinois, Michigan. New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers were mobilized in areas anticipated to be most severely impacted by the storm.

Crews were already actively clearing away damage – including downed trees and power lines – and restoring service in Eastern New York, where heavy, wet snow impacted customers in Essex, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties.

This latest storm comes on the heels of a late February severe weather event. On March 1, National Grid crews were working around the clock after restoring power to 191,600, or 97%, of the nearly 198,000 customers impacted by the severe winter storm that caused widespread damage across Upstate New York in late February. The storm brought wind gusts of up to 72 mph and more than a foot of heavy, wet snow to some regions, bringing down trees, tree limbs, utility poles and electricity wires.

Nearly 3,400 line, service, tree, damage assessment and public safety workers remained in the field cleaning up damage and making repairs. External crews supplementing the company’s field force came from Connecticut, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.

Among the hardest-hit areas were Albany, Essex, Fulton, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington counties in Eastern New York, and Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida and Oswego counties in Central New York.

Restoration workers contended with icy and impassable roads and difficult-to-reach equipment repairs in remote areas. Debris-covered streets with wires down also challenged cleanup efforts as municipalities and National Grid had to take additional time to make areas safe so that roads could be open. In addition, significant tree damage was widespread, requiring trained forestry teams to cut back broken limbs and trunks so that restoration work could proceed.

“The remaining repairs are labor-intensive, primarily single-customer and isolated pockets of outages,” said Kyle Bentley, Lead Director of New York Electric Operations. “These outages take time as they require us to move equipment and crews street-to-street and house-to-house. We thank all of our customers for their continued patience and understanding as we advance closer to complete restoration of service. Our field force will remain active in the region until the last outage is resolved.”

Bentley added, “On behalf of National Grid, I want to extend a special thanks to the police, fire, public works, municipal officials, and other volunteers for their ongoing assistance and for their support of our customers and communities during our storm recovery efforts.”

For up-to-date information on the storm restoration, visit the National Grid newsroom

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