CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Hundreds of people have filed emergency claims for unemployment insurance following the gas outage in Newport.
A spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Labor and Training (DLT) said as of Tuesday afternoon, the agency had received 300 claims for unemployment insurance directly related to the natural gas shutoff that impacted thousands of National Grid customers – both residential and businesses – on Aquidneck Island in January.
Days into the emergency, Gov. Gina Raimondo directed the DLT to allow Rhode Islanders who missed work due to the outage to apply for unemployment insurance without any delays. The DLT also said it would waive any penalties to employers.
According to National Grid, a dramatic drop in pressure from its transmission system, Algonquin Gas Transmission Co., forced the utility to suspend service to thousands of customers in Newport and parts of Middletown.