BIPCo ready for storm

Sat, 08/21/2021 - 2:30pm

Block Island Power Company President Jeffery Wright has been keeping a very close eye on Henri and reports that he and his crews are ready for the worst.

While the track of the storm changes from time to time, as of mid-day today (Saturday) Henri has increased in intensity, reaching hurricane status with winds at 75 mph. The eye is expected to pass west of Block Island, some where over Long Island, putting the island on the windier side of the storm.

Wright says: “We are all feeling good about our preparations and our ability to handle this storm though.” Five additional line workers were brought in Friday night, along with an extra digger truck, two bucket trucks and a pick up. The call center has also been notified of the impending storm.

Residents and visitors should expect downed power lines and are warned to stay clear of them. To report an outage, call (401) 466-5851.

There could very well be an interruption of the power supply coming from the mainland through the National Grid cable, said Wright. He told The Times that the power company’s back-up generators were all tested Friday morning and they “worked flawlessly.” If the cable does go out, BIPCo has about three days worth of fuel on hand to power them.

Wright has been in contact with National Grid and has a direct line to its control center. He’s also been involved in the overall emergency planning for the town, meeting with the emergency management team that includes Bill McCombe, Police Chief Matthew Moynihan, Harbormaster Kate McConville, and Town Manager Maryanne Crawford. He’s also been in contact with the New England Mutual Aid group, which will offer assistance after the storm passes.

It’s basically worst-case scenario for us no matter what happens,” says Wright. “We have a good plan, and our members should be confident in us. Major storms are our time to really show them what we are capable of and I’m confident in the team here and really think we can put up a good fight with Henri!”