NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — A gas outage on Aquidneck Island has left thousands of National Grid customers without gas service.
Since the restoration effort is expected to be a multi-day process, officials are urging those affected to seek warm shelter in the meantime.
There are several resources available for residents affected by the massive outage.
This resource list will be continuously updated as more information is provided.
Customer Information Center
National Grid has set up a Customer Information Center at Gurney’s Newport Resort on Goat Island.
There, customers can obtain the most up-to-date information on the restoration efforts and resources being offered by National Grid, the State of Rhode Island, and the Red Cross.
They also set up a website which provides updates and information about potential hotels, alternative heating options and information about the claims process.
A van delivered dozens of heaters to the National Grid customer service center inside Gurney’s on Tuesday and residents quickly started snagging them to bring home.
The Newport Fire Department is urging anyone who is using a space heater to follow all of the directions that come with it and to not leave it unattended.
Warming Center Locations include:
- Gaudet Middle School – 230 Turner Road, Middletown
- URI Memorial Student Union – 50 Lower College Road, Kingston
- Donovan Manor – 19 Chapel Street, Newport
The Potter League is also helping people house their pets during the outage.
The Planet Fitness in Middletown is opening its doors to those impacted by the outage. Impacted residents are able to utilize the heat, showers and locker rooms free of charge without a membership. Planet Fitness said non-members must show an ID for proof of residency and sign into the guest register.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said National Grid has hotel vouchers available for those who can’t afford to pay for a hotel room up front.
Vouchers are available at the Gurney’s Information Center, at the warming center at Gaudet School and also by calling 211. She urged anyone who needs a ride to a warming center or hotel to call 211.
Transportation and Food
City officials are offering charter buses to shuttle people who need transportation during the outage. Anyone who needs transportation can also contact the Newport Fire Department at (401) 845-5934.
Chartwells is serving meals to affected residents at the Florence Gray Center from 7:30-9 a.m. for breakfast and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch.
City officials said Pell Elementary School staff will distribute their backpack food program to all regular participants at the Pell School lobby between 1-2 p.m. Any other families in need of assistance can visit the school at 2:30 p.m. where they will distribute food on a first come, first serve basis.
National Grid is passing out Stop & Shop giftcards to anyone affected by the outage at Gurney’s and Gaudet.
The Edward King House and Middletown Senior Center remain open as well and Meals on Wheels deliveries will continue through the week.
In an effort to support working families, the Newport Family and Child Opportunity Zone is providing a free child activity center from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on West Main Road in Middletown.
Childcare will be provided on a first come, first serve basis and an ID will be necessary for child pickup.
The Boys and Girls Club of Newport is also offering activities for students ages 10-17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Florence Gray Community Center.
Raimondo said any families with part-time CCAP childcare assistance are now upgraded to full-time.
Gov. Raimondo announces that families affected by Newport gas disaster with part-time CCAP childcare assistance are now upgraded to full-time. Families can also call Newport Boys & Girls Club for childcare assistance.— Steph Machado (@StephMachado) January 24, 2019