National Grid begins making preparations ahead of nor’easter

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NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — Just as the region begins to reach its fall foliage peak, Southern New England is now buckling down for a nor’easter that will likely strip trees of most of their leaves.

The storm is expected to move across the region over the next two days, bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain.

Weather Now: Flood Watch, High Wind Warning/Advisory Tuesday Into Wednesday »

National Grid spokesperson Ted Kresse said the potential for power outages are top of mind for the utility.

Kresse said since the majority of the trees have yet to shed their leaves, they’re more likely to become top heavy and topple over, potentially bringing utility poles and wires down with them.

“We’ve seen a lot of these late October and November storms the last few years,” Kresse said. “We’re always staying on our toes and always preparing for them.”

In recent years, late October has become peak “storm season” in Southern New England. In October 2017, a storm toppled trees and power lines, knocking out power to nearly 150,000 National Grid customers across Rhode Island.

“That was a pretty significant storm, very similar conditions,” Kresse recalled. “Lots of rain, very strong winds. That was a quick-mover, too. The concerns with this storm coming in is that it’s really looking like a slow-mover right now. So, that could present some challenges.”

A High Wind Warning is in place starting late Tuesday and will continue into Wednesday morning, which is when wind gusts are expected to reach up to 50 mph.

Kresse said National Grid is preparing to restore any and all power outages that occur.

“Those plans are coming together,” he said. “I think by [Tuesday] morning, we’ll have over 2,000 field personnel across New England ready to respond.”

Eversource tells 12 News they’re also preparing for the storm.

“We’ve been closely monitoring several forecasts and preparing accordingly, pre-positioning crews and other resources across the state, including in Bristol County,” the company said in a statement. “As the storm enters the state, we’ll shift those crews to the hardest hit communities and work around the clock to restore power to all impacted customers as quickly as safely possible.”

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