National Grid to consider reimbursements for frozen pipe damage on ‘case by case basis’


NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — By the time Sid Abbruzzi arrived at his Newport business Wednesday, water was pouring from the ceiling and his merchandise was ruined. 

Abbruzzi said pipes in the apartments above his shop on Broadway burst, making Water Brothers a casualty of the ongoing gas emergency in Newport.

“There was already 2-3 inches of water on the floor,” Abbruzzi said. “The ceiling caving in!”

Public safety officials said frozen and bursting pipes could be common scenes at homes and businesses across Newport County as temperatures fluctuate.

“That’s the big concern, there are going to be pipes breaking,” said Rhode Island Fire Marshal Timothy McLaughlin. 

On Monday, a loss of pressure in the gas transmission supply forced the utility company to suspend service to more than 10,000 people in Newport and Middletown.

While National Grid plans to reimburse residents for hotel rooms, food, and transportation related to the gas outage, Ted Kresse, a spokesperson for the utility company said damage caused by frozen pipes will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Customers should keep all receipts, fill out a claim form, and submit it to National Grid’s claims department.

Call 12 for Action asked how long it will take for customers to receive reimbursements from National Grid. Kresse said it will depend on the number of claims that are filed and how complex they are.

Susan Campbell ( is the Call 12 for Action and Target 12 consumer investigator for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook.

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