Newport gas restoration nearing completion

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Newport gas restoration nearing completion

NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — National Grid says as of Sunday evening, gas service has been restored to 90% of customers affected by the gas emergency on Aquidneck Island.

More than 600 technicians were out restoring service late into the night.

Around Newport, things are beginning to get back to normal. More people are back at their homes and businesses are open.

At Nikolas Pizza on Memorial Boulevard, the pizzas are back in the oven and take out orders have been coming in.

“It feels really good,” Nikolas Pizza co-owner Teresa Young said.

The business has been closed since last week because of the gas outage, but now their gas is back on.

Young says between inventory that had to be thrown out, employees who didn’t make usual tips and lost business, thousands of dollars were likely lost during that outage.

“The phones are ringing off the hook.  When are you gonna be open, when are you gonna be open?  Customers and employees alike and I didn’t have any answers for them,” Young said.

Around town, green stickers placed on doors of homes by National Grid technicians show that gas has been restored. They ask that customers leave those stickers up until everyone has gas service so crews know which ones have been serviced.

“I can cook again, I got heat on, it’s nice warmth,” Marques Jenkins said.

“People are getting their heat back on, but the recovery is not complete yet,” Mayor Jamie Bova added. 

The mayor says there are still two phases left in the recovery, including making sure people and businesses recover financially and reviewing the incident as a whole. 

She plans to take a closer look at how it happened, the response and what can be learned from the incident.

National Grid also says it plans to work with seasonal residents who may not be in town right now.  

“We are a local company and we’re not going anywhere. Whenever customers who are out of the area come home and are ready to have their gas service restored, we will be there,” Terry Sobolewski, Chief Customer Officer and SVP, National Grid, US said.

National Grid is going to start processing reimbursements for customers on Monday.

The chief customer officer says reasonable costs for hotels and meals will be reimbursed, along with temporary heating considered compliant and safe up to $250.

As Eyewitness News has reported, all Newport schools will back open on Monday.  School buses will also run on their normal schedules.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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