About 100 homes without power as new storm threatens
About 100 National Grid customers in Rhode Island Southern remained without power Tuesday night as the region braced for the second nor'easter in less than a week.
At its peak, more than 150,00 Southern New Englanders were left in the dark.
With no heat and a storm brewing, there is a concern that schools will see a repeat of December and January when pipes burst during frigid cold weather.
Some homeowners said they fear that they'll get power back only in time to be left in the dark again.
Lt. Gov Dan Mckee criticized National Grid for the storm last October, as crews took nearly a week to get everyone's power back on.
Now, McKee is calling for new state laws for National Grid to submit an annual response plan and pay fines for poor performance. He said such laws are making a difference in Massachusetts, with a lower percentage of customers in the dark when storms hit.
“We said enough's enough. Let's get down, serious about preparing for those storms in a way where you're just not responding. You want to be proactive,” McKee said. "Four days is too long. 150,000 is too many."
Rep. Aaron Regunberg, a Democrat who represents Providence, is running against McKee. He wants lawmakers to investigate National Grid's readiness.
“I think that we need to be taking a step back and having a longer term conversation about how we plan for this new normal, how do we make sure that our utility and our state are instituting proactive steps so we don't get to this place in the first place,” Regunerg said. "The concern that I'm hearing is that, is this the new normal?"
But Ted Kresse, a spokesman for National Grid, said the organization is pleased with their efforts.
"I think the response has been extremely strong," Kresse said. "We're very proud of it."
Kresse said it spends millions on trimming trees, but claims the number of outages is not just about that.
“We didn't just have limbs coming off and knocking out lines,” said Kresse. “We had full trees coming down. We had full utility poles coming down. The winds were up to 80 miles an hour in some parts of the state.”
National Grid reported that about 1,500 customers in Rhode Island and about 2,200 in Bristol County, Massachusetts, had no electricity as of Monday morning.
Eversource reported that fewer than 200 homes and businesses in Bristol County had no power.