national grid truck

National Grid workers repair power lines.

National Grid says it is prepared for a nor'easter predicted to hit the area with severe winds and heavy rain Tuesday night and into Wednesday.

The winds, which are expected to reach 55 mph locally, have the potential to cause widespread power failures by knocking down and damaging trees and electrical lines.

“We’ve been closely monitoring this storm and have secured additional overhead and forestry crews as part of our emergency response plan,” Michael McCallan, vice president of New England Electric Operations, said in a statement.

“In the event of a power outage, our crews and support teams will be working for as long as needed to restore service as quickly as conditions allow,” McCallan said.

National Grid says it has nearly 2,411 workers in the field as part of its emergency response operations across New England. This includes overhead line, forestry, contractors, underground, damage assessment, wires down, transmission, and substation workers.

It also includes more than 398 external line crews and 246 external forestry crews the company hired to assist with the effort. Crews are in place and ready to respond, National Grid says.

The National Weather Service in Norton has issued a high wind warning and flood watch for the area.

The rain could be heavy at times Tuesday night with wind gusts up to 55 mph predicted. There will be patchy fog with temperatures going down to around 48 degrees. One to two inches of rain is possible.

Rain is likely to continue mainly before 8 a.m. Wednesday. Otherwise, the forecast calls for cloudy conditions with a high near 53.

It will be breezy with gusts as high as 45 mph. Another quarter- to a half-inch of rain is possible, according to the weather service.

National Grid says it has been preparing for the storm for several days and is continuing to monitor the weather, communicating with local officials, first responders and life support customers.

Power failures should be reported to nationalgridus.com or by calling 1-800-465-1212.

The company has a mobile app to track outage information and storm-related safety tips at www.ngrid.com/mobile.

National Grid is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where they will post all the latest storm and restoration updates.

Information on outages and estimated restoration times will also be available at nationalgridus.com/outage-central

The company says people should never touch downed power lines and just assume fallen lines are live electric wires.

Fallen lines should be reported immediately to National Grid or local police and fire officials.

People who depend on electric-powered life support equipment, such as a respirator, should let National Grid know. To register as a life support customer call the company’s customer service center at 1-800-322-3223.

National Grid recommends turning off any appliances that were on when the power went off, but leave a light on so you will know when power is restored.

Because it is unsafe to work in an elevated bucket during periods of increased wind gusts, National Grid says its line workers can only begin restoration work only when conditions are deemed safe.

David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.

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