National Grid is continuing to respond to outages and restore power to our customers and communities across Massachusetts. As of 10 a.m. today, we have restored over 444,000 customers across New England, and are doing everything we can to connect the remaining customers.
We have 3,665 field-based personnel as part of our emergency response operations across New England. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers. This also includes 683 external line crews and 353 external forestry crews we’ve secured to assist with the effort. We have enlisted help from as far away as North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, Tennessee and Canada to assist.
This was a potent storm that featured elevated high winds that brought down trees, limbs, poles, and wires. Initial work involved clearing roads, responding to 911 calls, and ensuring service for our critical care facilities, including schools, hospitals, and nursing homes. As we worked out of our Brockton Storm room facility responding to 20 municipalities, we saw over 155,000 customers impacted. Due to safety concerns of winds over 70 mph, crews could not safely operate in our bucket trucks in the air which impacted immediate operations. As these winds became calmer by Wednesday afternoon, we increased our activity from clearing roads to air operations, addressing 9 transmission lines out of service, 11 sub stations totally flat and over 61 feeder systems damaged from tree impacts. As of today, we have or are addressing over 150 new pole sets from these damages, understanding that setting poles is a labor-intensive process that can take up to eight hours for a single pole in certain conditions. We would also like to note that while National Grid vehicles may not physically be present in all neighborhoods, our crews are doing the supplementary work required to restore power to full capacity.
In comparison, the City of Brockton saw an impact to roughly 63% of our customers totaling close to 25,000 customers by Wednesday afternoon. Through the work our internal and external crews, and the direct collaboration with Mayor Sullivan, his office, Fire and Police and the Emergency Management Department and our national Grid Liaison, we have successfully restored power back to 53% of those customers. We continue to address the remaining 4,000 customers or 10% of the City as our crews continue to work on feeder systems within the streets of Brockton and those substations in the neighboring towns that provide electricity to certain sections of the City. These efforts continue on a 24-hour basis, with additional contracting crews arriving to assist National Grid on any further issues that might arise. Our crews are working as quickly and safely as possible. The graphic below provides additional details on our restoration procedures.
This is a multiple day restoration event and we expect that the vast majority of impacted customers will be restored by Saturday morning. There will be some customers that will remain without power into the weekend due to more complex, individual repairs required.
“Our crews have been working tirelessly since the storm began and have made great progress but we still have a great deal of work to do in order to get every customer restored,” said Michael McCallan, Vice President of New England Electric Operations. As we get to repairs within individual neighborhoods, the work is more time-sensitive and complex.”
We know how frustrating it is to be without power and we are making every effort to restore our remaining customers as quickly and as safely as possible. We thank all of our customers for their perseverance during this challenging time.