Governor Chafee gives update on power outages during press conference

A backhoe clears out a side street in East Providence at nightfall Saturday, Feb. 9. A backhoe clears out a side street in East Providence at nightfall Saturday, Feb. 9.

CRANSTON — During a 5:30 p.m. press conference Saturday, Feb. 9, at the state Emergency Management headquarters, Governor Lincoln Chafee and other officials offered an update on the status of power outages and travel in Rhode Island in the wake of winter storm Nemo.

A backhoe clears out a side street in East Providence at nightfall Saturday, Feb. 9.

A backhoe clears out a side street in East Providence at nightfall Saturday, Feb. 9.

The Governor noted most main thoroughfares around the state have been cleared of snow, but many side roads are still in need of clearing.

National Grid of Rhode Island president Tim Horan said crews are out in the field continuing to assess the source of power outages and have already begun the process of getting electricity turned back on for the over 175,000 residents who lost it during the storm.

Mr. Horan said much of the focus is on the East Bay and Aquidneck Island areas, which were some of the hardest hit. Power has been restored to a majority of residents in Portsmouth, which had about 9,000 customers affected. Mr. Horan said that number is now down to roughly 1,500.

Almost all of Barrington, Bristol and Warren remains without power as does about three-quarters of East Providence.

“We’re making progress. Along the shore where the heavy winds came through, we’re making progress,” Mr. Horan said. “As we get the major lines back, we can get these towns back on line quicker.”

Mr. Horan said the goal to have all its customers back on line with power is midnight on Monday, Feb. 11.

Gov. Chafee urged all residents to use utmost caution, especially those who remain without power and/or heat.

Of note in East Providence, several side streets haven’t been plowed since late Friday evening. Public Works has every available vehicle out attempting to assist in plowing, including backhoes.

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