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National Grid, Fire Officials Urge For Safety in Snow Removal

Sunday, February 16, 2014


National Grid and local fire officials urge New Englanders to focus on safety during the snow removal process while the region recovers from another winter storm.

Heavy, wet snowfall has accumulated throughout New England, and as customers clear snow from roofs and driveways, it is important to remember to avoid power lines and natural gas equipment.

Overhead power lines are often not insulated, and they carry enough energy to cause serious injury or even death. If you plan to remove snow from your roof, remember to keep your distance from electrical service lines and keep ladders and other equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines at all times.

If you see a downed line, keep others away from it and call National Grid immediately at 1-800-465-1212.

National Grid also reminds its natural gas customers to use caution when clearing snow to avoid covering or damaging natural gas lines, meters, regulators, and intake and exhaust vents to prevent carbon monoxide from building up. Customers should keep their gas meters clear of snow and should be careful not to drop heavy rooftop snow onto any outside meter. Customers should also use care when shoveling or plowing near outside gas lines, because damage to this equipment can result in a natural gas leak.

If you detect a natural gas leak, National Grid recommends that you evacuate the premises and call National Grid’s gas emergency number from a safe location:

Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325

Rhode Island: 1-800-640-1595

National Grid offers the following tips for customers to minimize inconvenience and maximize safety after winter storms:

  • National Grid customers who experience outages should call National Grid’s outage line at 1-800-465-1212 immediately to expedite restoration.
  • Never touch downed power lines, and always assume that any fallen lines are live electric wires. If you see one, report it immediately to National Grid or your local emergency response organization.
  • When clearing snow from your roof, remember to keep ladders and other equipment at least 10 feet away from power lines at all times.
  • The safest way for homeowners to remove snow from roofs is from the ground using a long-handled roof rake.
  • Natural gas customers should closely inspect areas around and over gas meters, service hook-ups and vents for ice and snow that could damage equipment or build up to prevent carbon monoxide from properly venting.
  • NEVER burn wood or coal in an indoor area without proper venting. Be sure space heaters and wood stoves are in good condition, have adequate ventilation and are used in strict compliance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Portable gas and charcoal grills intended for outside use should never be used indoors, or even inside an open garage.
  • NEVER use your gas range to heat your apartment or house. Your range's oven and top burners are designed to cook your food, NOT to heat your home. Prolonged use can reduce oxygen levels in the home and contribute to unusually excessive levels of carbon monoxide.
  • Make sure your carbon monoxide alarms are working and if you experience a prolonged power outage, be prepared to replace the back-up batteries in plug-in style alarms.
  • If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and call 911. After calling 911, call the appropriate National Grid emergency contact number: 1-800-233-5325 in Massachusetts and 1-800-640-1595 in Rhode Island.

Related Slideshow: Top 10 Blizzards in RI History

Prev Next

10. Blizzard of 2010

Max Accumulation: Approximately 13"

December 26-27, 2010

This winter storm brought more than a foot of snow to several parts of Rhode Island, including 13 inches in Woonsocket.

Prev Next

9. Blizzard of 2003

Max Accumulation: Approximately 15"

February 14-19, 2013

Know as the President’s Day Storm II, this blizzard brought roughly 15 inches to Ocean State.

Prev Next

8. Blizzard of 2009

Max Accumulation: Approximately 16"

December 16-20, 2009

Blizzard warnings were in effect in southern Rhode Island when this storm hit just before Christmas 2009.

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7. April Fool's Day Blizzard

Max Accumulation: Approximately 18"

March 30 to April 1, 1997

This blizzard was no joke when it dropped 18 inches of snow in Providence.

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6. 1969 Nor’easter

Max Accumulation: Approximately 20"

February 8-10, 1969

This storm blanketed many parts of Rhode Island with upwards of 20 inches of snow.

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5. Great Blizzard of 1888

Max Accumulation: Approximately 20"

March 11-14, 1888

One of the most severe recorded blizzards in the history of the United States, this superstorm dumped 20 inches in Kingston.

Prev Next

4. Blizzard of 1996

Max Accumulation: Approximately 23"

Jan. 6-10, 1996

One of two blizzards to receive an “extreme” rating on the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale, this storm blanketing parts of Rhode Island with upwards of 23 inches of snow.

Prev Next

3. Blizzard of 2005

Max Accumulation: Approximately 23.5"

January 20-23, 2005

This three-day storm delivered more nearly two feet of snow to some parts of Rhode Island.

Prev Next

2. Winter Storm Nemo

Max Accumulation: Approximately 24"

February 7-18, 2013

About 180,000 RI homes and businesses lost power during this powerful blizzard.

Prev Next

1. Blizzard of 1978

Max Accumulation: Approximately 38"

February 5-7, 1978

This historic nor’easter, which claimed the lives of 26 Rhode Islanders, brought a record-breaking 27.6 inches of snow to Providence and 38 inches to Woonsocket.


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