According to reports, almost 155000 customers of National Grid were left in the dark as they faced massive power outage after Hurricane Irene had pounded Rhode Island on Sunday morning. The hurricane swept through the area, bringing knocked down trees and power lines.
According to Debbie Drew, spokeswoman for National Grid, the issue has been taken up on an urgent basis and the company personnel are “working hard” to restore electricity to customers. However, she said it could take hours or days to restore everyone’s electricity.
477000 customers in Rhode Island are of National Grid.
According to meteorologists, Hurricane Irene has reduced from a Category 1 to a tropic storm. As it moves further, the wind gusts speed and impact will lessen even more.
No injury or fatalities have been reported by the state police so far.
According to spokesman for the Rhode Island National Guard, Col. Denis Riel, the wind gusts brought by Hurricane Irene could go up to 70 mph from the current strength of 45 mph. The storm has brought with it heavy showers and up to four inches of rain is expected.
According to a spokesperson for the city of Providence, "We are being impacted differently than North Carolina, but we still expect a very significant storm surge this afternoon."
Fox Point Hurricane Barrier in Providence was closed in the morning to prevent floodwaters damaging the city. The 25-foot high, 3000-foot long structure was built in 1966.
No evacuations have been ordered in Providence so far.
However in Rhode Island, at least 16 towners were ordered to evacuate their houses immediately and seek shelter elsewhere. These evacuations were mandatory and voluntary.
In several coastal towns and cities, including Westerly, Narragansett and South Kingstown, mandatory evacuations were ordered.
According to sources, in many towns and cities including Providence, authorities banned any cars to be parked on streets.
Some colleges in Rhode Island had to cancel or postpone some classes to prepare for the upcoming storm. Rhode Island College told students to move in Monday instead of today, and Providence College told some freshmen scheduled to arrive Sunday to come a day later.
55 boats at the New York Yacht Club were taken off the water before the storm hit to prevent any damage.
Concerts, gigs and other such events were postponed due to the hurricane.