On Friday, February 8, 2013, a winter storm began impacting the Northeast U.S., bringing snow, heavy winds, and coastal flooding to the region. The National Weather Service reported that total snowfall accumulations of two to three feet occurred across parts of eastern Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
States of emergency were declared for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, according to the Department of Energy.
According to the DOE, there are about 136,071 power outages still in effect following the storm. 531,692 customers have been restored out of the 667,763 combined total peak customer outages reported in the situation reports for all eight states affected. Utility restoration activities are reported below.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reported February 10 that Entergy Nuclear’s 685 MW Pilgrim nuclear power plant located in Plymouth, Mass. has exited its ‘Unusual Event’ status following partial restoration of offsite power to vital and nonvital equipment onsite. Emergency diesel generators have been returned to stand-by mode. The off-site electric grid operator continues to inspect and repair two additional offsite power sources.
Connecticut currently has about 1,586 outages as of February 11. A total of 38,052 outages were reported at peak.
Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) reported February 11 that it is sending a team of about 50 employees, including line workers, supervisors and support personnel, to assist its sister company, NSTAR in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts currently has about 112,060 outages as of February 11. A total of 402,814 outages were reported at peak.
National Grid estimated February 10 that all customers in the Attleboro area would be restored by last night and customers in the Brockton area and in Quincy would be restored by midday February 11. In the South Shore, restoration would be completed by the end of the day February 12.
The company stated that its crews are focusing restoration efforts on the South Shore area, with four helicopters in use inspecting lines and 500 crews on the ground. In the South Shore area, National Grid stated there were over 60 broken poles.
The company reported yesterday that in Massachusetts and Rhode Island there are more than 2,000 crews, National Grid personnel plus additional crews from 26 states and two Canadian provinces, involved in the restoration process.
NSTAR reported February 10 that its transmission system sustained significant damage and its crews are working to repair it. NSTAR is using helicopters to get a clear view the damage to our power lines in remote, hard to access area. The company estimates that all customers will be restored by February 14.
Personnel are focusing restoration efforts on customers in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod, where heavy snow and high winds caused significant damage. All 3,000 NSTAR employees are assisting in the storm response effort. More than 1,000 individual line and tree workers, from as far away as Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Quebec, have been brought in to assist in the restoration.
New York currently has about 2,387 outages as of February 11. A total of 13,973 outages were reported at peak.
Long Island Power Authority reported February 10 that it is working to restore service to the remaining customers who remain without power. The company is shifting resources into Suffolk County, where the majority of the remaining outages are located. LIPA has a workforce of more than 5,000 people responding to the storm. February 10, an additional 6,965 LIPA customers lost power in the Far Rockaway, Edgemere and Inwood areas due to a substation issue. Most of the outages were back in an hour, and all outages were restored within two hours.
Rhode Island currently has about 20,038 outages as of February 11. A total of 185,908 outages were reported at peak.
National Grid reported February 10 that it estimates that the vast majority of its customers in Rhode Island will have their power restored by midnight February 11. National Grid stated February 10 that there were 400 line and tree crews on the ground in its Rhode Island territory working to restore the remaining customers who still remain without power in the state. The company stated that the full restoration effort in Rhode Island wasn’t able to begin until 9:00 a.m. February 9 due to the continued snowfall and impassible roads.