National Grid Prepared For Record Setting Winter Storm In WNY

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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) — This weekend, weather outside might be frightful across Western New York as a powerful winter storm is expected to snarl Christmas plans.

With winds that could reach up to 70 miles per hour, blowing snow could lead to whiteout conditions just before the Christmas holiday. 

“We’re all buckled down, every employee is ready for this and we’ve in fact brought in about 300 employees, 300 contractors who will be coming to Western New York on Thursday in advance of the storm, and an additional 500 people who can help us out in Central and Eastern New York,” said National Grid spokesman David Bertola.

The threat of power outages is top of mind for those with National Grid.

“When we get a combination of ice and wind, ice will form on tree branches which makes them a little heavier and then the strongest winds, 50, 60, 70 miles per hour as an example, those have the capability of falling into power lines and knocking them down and that’s what causes the outages,” Bertola explained. “If you see a downed power line, keep away from it. Always assume that it’s live.”

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season isn’t going to slow down response to the storm.

“It’s all about the customer, so regardless of what day it is on Sunday, we know Christmas is coming as the song says, we’re ready and we’re prepared,” said Bertola. “Our first priority is making sure that when we keep an eye on the weather like when we do every single day, our priority is making sure that when we see a heavy wind event like this one planned for later in the week that we have the people, resources, and everything else in place.”

Bertola understands that youngsters might have some anxiety about a man in a big red suit being able to see with no power.

“If there’s any kids watching, just know that even if the electricity goes out, Santa should still be able to make all of his deliveries. We have a direct line into the North Pole and we just want to let him know that if you’re on his nice list, some years I know I wasn’t, you should be in good shape. Nothing to worry about,” explained Bertola.

If customers do lose power, they can stay up to date with the latest restoration times at National Grid’s website


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