National Grid Prepared for February Winter Storm

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WALTHAM, Mass. — National Grid is prepared for a powerful winter storm to impact Massachusetts Monday evening through Tuesday, bringing significant snow, strong winds, and possible coastal flooding into the region. 
 
Some areas across the state have the potential for snow accumulations of up to 18 inches.
 
The primary concerns associated with this storm include heavy snow, strong winds, and coastal flooding from high tides, with the majority of the state experiencing potential snow accumulations of 8-12 inches, and some areas in Central and Western Massachusetts could experience accumulations of up to 18 inches. In addition, the storm is expected to bring gusting winds, including hazardous wind gusts of as much as 60 mph in some coastal areas. 
 
The wind gusts and accumulation of wet, heavy snow in some areas have the potential to damage trees and knock down power wires, causing power outages in impacted locations. The storm is expected to depart by the end of the day on Tuesday, and calmer weather is expected for Wednesday.
 
"National Grid is closely monitoring the weather forecast, and we have crews and personnel in place across Massachusetts ready to respond to any impacts this storm may bring," said Tim Moore, Vice President of Electric Operations for New England. "We'll be ready to restore service as quickly and safely as possible. The predicted heavy snow may make roads difficult to travel, and strong winds could have an impact on our restoration efforts. Our crews will work to restore the power systems as soon as it is safe to do so."
 
 
National Grid is preparing for the storm by securing additional crews and personnel as part of the company's emergency response operations and preparedness activities. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers. As forecasts evolve, the company will continue to assess resource needs.
 
Crews will begin the restoration process when it is deemed safe to conduct work. For example, it is not safe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts.
 
The company has been preparing for the storm and continues monitoring the weather and communicating with local officials, first responders, and life support customers.
 
The company offers the following tips and reminders:
 
Customers Should Stay Connected:  
  • Report power outages at www.nationalgridus.com or call 1-800-465-1212.
  • Use your mobile device to track outage information and storm-related safety tips through National Grid’s mobile site, accessible at www.ngrid.com/mobile.
  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram; we post all the latest storm and restoration updates.
  • Track outages and estimated restoration times at www.nationalgridus.com/outage-central
  • To stay connected during storms and outages, text to 64743 using any of the below commands.
    • REG to sign up for text alerts
    • OUT to report an outage
    • SUM followed by your town, county, or state to get a summary of outages in your area
    • HELP for the complete list of commands 
Stay Safe: 
  • 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. 
  • Power problems can sometimes interrupt public water supply systems or disable well pumps, so it’s an excellent idea to keep a supply of bottled drinking water handy, as well as some canned food. 
  • People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer, call the company’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-322-3223. 
  • Check on elderly family members, neighbors, and others who may need assistance during an outage.   
Electric Safety:
  • If you use a generator to supply power during an outage, be sure to operate it outdoors. Before operating generators, disconnect from National Grid’s system by shutting off the main breaker located in the electric service panel. Failure to do this could jeopardize the safety of line crews and the public. 
  • If you lose power, turn off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave one light on so you will know when power is restored. 
 
Gas Safety:
  • If you suspect a natural gas leak:
  • Get Out - All occupants should leave the house immediately. Do not use the telephone or light switches for any reason.
  • Call Us – After leaving the house and reaching a safe environment, call the National Grid 24-hour gas emergency number for Massachusetts: 1-800-233-5325
  • Stay Out - Do not return to your home until National Grid tells you it is safe.

 


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West Side Residents Build Ideal Neighborhood At Zoning Session

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

Program manager James McGrath opens the session at Conte Community School.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents mapped out a West Side they would like to see during an input session this week, utilizing multi-use properties to create robust density.

Held at Conte Community School on Monday, this was the second meeting of a project to examine zoning in the neighborhood. The Department of Community Development, in partnership with Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity, has been working with an urban planning and design consulting team on the effort that will conclude on June 30.

"This is a really important project for your neighborhood," Park, Open Space, and Natural Resource Program Manager James McGrath said.

Multifamily houses with spaces to accommodate a small business were popular. A community center, church, year-round farmer's market, and even a place to draw in commerce appeared as elements on the tabletop street.

An emphasis was also placed on the amount of immigrants coming to the area in need of housing.

Max Douhoure, community outreach coordinator for Habitat, explained that he grew up in Africa where people liked to live together, which his build reflected.

"I wanted to improve their conditions," he said. "That’s what I did."

During the first meeting in November, the team heard desires for businesses and commercial uses — including a need for small, family-owned business support. The session provided an overview of what zoning is, what zoning can and can't do, how zoning can improve the community, and the impact on residents.

"Today's exercise is really about creating spaces in buildings and on properties to do a combination of residential [uses] that meet the needs and commercial uses that meet the needs of the neighborhood,"  Emily Keys Innes, principal of Innes Associates explained.

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