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Power Is Restored To Parts Of EG, But Other Areas Still Dark

For National Grid, the power outages across the state have been a bit like working in the dark.

Downtown East Greenwich has power again, with the last spots - among them the CVS plaza, Centerville Bank and Thorpe’s Liquor - finally back on as of 4 p.m. Tuesday. Power had been off since Sunday morning as a result of the winds from Tropical Storm Irene.

Other areas were restored too, including the neighborhoods around Hanaford School. The Meadowbrook and Tanglewood areas are still without power, however, as National Grid struggles to restore power across the state.

One problem, according to a National Grid subcontractor who was working to restore power in the Shippeetown Road area, is that it’s been difficult to know exactly where the critical areas are that need repair.

“We don’t always have the best information,” conceded Robert Galgano, a construction engineer and project manager from Massachusetts who was called in to work on the storm last Thursday.

Overnight, workers try to gather the most accurate information so that come morning, he said, crews can target those areas.

“Those are prioritized based on the best information available,” Galgano said, who was working with a crew on Division Street east of Shippeetown Road. “But it’s not always the best information.”

According to Town Manager Bill Sequino, National Grid had restored power to more than 200,000 residents since the peak of 340,000 customers without power in Rhode Island. He learned that during a conference call with a National Grid spokesman during the day on Tuesday.

At that time, the power company was looking for direction from the various town officials as to which areas were priority. Sequino said he identified two priorities: first, getting the power back on in all the public schools and, second, dealing with the downed power lines at the intersection of Maplewood and Silverwood drives near Meadowbrook Farms.

By Tuesday evening, , but the power lines were still in the street and power was still off in the area.

Another trouble spot for the town was the long stretch of downed lines on Division Street.

Crews from National Grid finally arrived to deal with power lines that have been lying on the street and hanging down from tree limbs since Sunday.

The power company had a tree crew from Florida and a line crew from Michigan Tuesday afternoon working on the power lines that fell during the storm. For some in the area, that was welcome news not just because power could soon be restored, but because they said the lines were a huge safety hazard.

One woman who did not want to be identified said she finally called the police department about the lines this morning, after watching a dairy truck back down the street to avoid having the lines brush over the top of the truck.

“Nighttime was a disaster,” she added, referring to drivers on the dark road who couldn’t see the lines hanging down.

For National Grid supervisor Steve Ostrosky, who was also on the scene at Division Street, the hardest part of the job is thinking about everyone dealing without electricity.

"It's tough. You feel sorry for the people without power."

"This is the worst storm I've ever worked on," said Galgano, recalling that hurricanes Gloria and Bob and all the blizzards since haven't been this bad. On top of that, he said, the help that would normally come from other states like New York and New Jersey isn't coming because they're too bogged down in their own electrical problems.

"Usually, a couple days in, we get flooded with outside help," Galgano said. "It's bare bones this time."

He added, "We're doing our best."

Kristin Wheeler August 31, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Howland Road apparently has power now!
Patricia Van Hise August 31, 2011 at 02:59 AM
Does anyone know if power is still out on Shippeetown Rd near Ann Rd?
Patti DePriest August 31, 2011 at 04:14 AM
Even with a tree down on the electric lines from our house, National Grid managed to restore our power tonight. We are so grateful to them and for electricity!
Elizabeth McNamara (Editor) August 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM
As of yesterday around 5 p.m., power was still out in that area.
EGAMT August 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Actually the power lines are still in the road on Maplewood and hasn't been a truck there since last night. I called National Grid this am and was told Sun or Mon. We are the forgotten neighborhood seems like crews pulled elsewhere.
Kristin Wheeler August 31, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Yay Patti! So glad you got power. Yes, lines still down on Maplewood.
Rhonda August 31, 2011 at 01:22 PM
Power lines down by 1249 South Rd. Called National Grid numerous times, and then called the fire dept, who called national grid. 2 men with clipboards and hardhats came to see the lines but brought no equipment, So still no power, thank god for friends with showers!
Stephen Morley August 31, 2011 at 02:47 PM
I am disgusted with the preparation and response by National Grid. I understand that the ground crews are doing their very best to restore power, but what about the infrastructure and preventative maintenance. Our estimated date of repair on Frenchtown Road is SUNDAY. Irene was a tropical storm and over a MILLION Customers lose their power. Is this the type of service we can expect from National Grid for the rest of the Hurricane Season? I for one, am dreading the winter.
Elizabeth August 31, 2011 at 03:27 PM
It was encouraging that they removed the tree and replaced the pole on Maplewood, but they're not even working on the wires today. Why? And there's only one cone and one barrel to warn motorists. And how funny: I received my National Grid bill today.
EGAMT August 31, 2011 at 03:50 PM
The Maplewood situation is disgusting. Multiple wire and power boxes laying on the road. The area has been all buy abandoned as most of EG is restored so crews pulled elsewhere. If this situation was om Post rd this would have been cleaned up immediately. Very clear our neighborhood is the sacrificial lamb. The Patch should post pictures of the severe damage and aftermath.
Frustrated resident August 31, 2011 at 03:52 PM
There is still no power in the Shippeetown, Ann Drive, Lynn Circle, Division area. The crews were there yesterday but not this morning. Are the National Grid workers working around the clock? Do they have a special clock? I guess their clock has no power!!!! And the phone calls I receive every evening from Rita from National Grid are not helping either!!!!...useless information. Rita stop calling me!!!!!!
EGAMT August 31, 2011 at 04:19 PM
For me the crushing blow was to hear from National Grid who had previously told us Thurs that we are now looking at Monday. Then to drive by and not see any trucks was so disheartening. That would be 8 days without power. There are limits that a person can endure. I hear much more anger and frustration from my fellow neighbors. There is only so many bags of ice, waiting forever at a laundrymat, stealing showers, and having to spend money on coffee and dinners out, that a person can take. I am grateful to my friends who have helped me out but dreading 9pm when it's dark as far as the eye can see.
EG Lurker August 31, 2011 at 04:22 PM
I too was out of power - fortunately restored yesterday - and have been reading the sarcastic comments here and listening to the angry callers on wpro...tropical storm vs. hurricane - it's splitting hairs... be fortunate that we didn't experience more severe damage or, in some instances, deaths...take a look at the images in the link below and consider us all fortunate: http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2011/08/us/hires.hurricane.irene/?hpt=hp_t1
La Dolce Vita August 31, 2011 at 04:36 PM
We used to live off Post Road, and were without power for 8 days following Hurricane Bob. Calling National Grid (formerly Narragansett Electric), we were told that power had been restored. Unfortunately, or fortunately for the neighborhood, we were an isolated situation. I now have a well, and when moving here, one of my first purchases was a generator, 3500 watts, just enough for a refrigerator, circulator pump on the boiler, well pump, household conveniences, not run all at once. I was not going to go without flushing a toilet for eight days. Since then, it's kind of like a pick-up truck where everybody seems to need it!! We are glad to have it for our use, and everyone elses use. It was just servicing my parent's home in Cranston, and now that they have power, it will go to a friends' home for their use until they get power. LIke a Boy Scout, be prepared. There's not such thing as problems, only opportunities.
Votre Vu Gal August 31, 2011 at 05:09 PM
@Frustrated resident, there is still no power in Spencer's Grant and our end of Shippeetown either. I did hear that they finally moved the trees that were blocking Shippeetown for 3 days. We do not have water either because Kent County said we didn't have enough homes in our neighborhood to hook up to city water, however there is city water directly accross the street in the brand new neighborhood. So no water, no power as well. Do we know why they stopped working on Division Street?
EGAMT August 31, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Sorry to hear about the situation with water. That is the one thing we have. I am curious is National Grid working anywhere today in East Greenwich? Not a sarcastic question just curious.
EG145 August 31, 2011 at 05:23 PM
Have any EG town officials been out to Maplewood situation? There are wires laying in the street for crying out loud. What more would there need to be for this situation to get more priority. Would someone from the town or patch please address this specific situation somehow and explain why it is not getting more priority?
Elizabeth August 31, 2011 at 06:21 PM
I just think it's a farce that when you can even access National Grid's site, almost every area is slated for restoration on Sunday or Monday. No one's going to get power back between now and Sunday? In this day and age, they should be able to give real-time accountings of what is being worked on. Either that, or just tell us we'll get power when we get power. And the last time I drove by, Maplewood STILL had no one working there.

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