Governor: No state of emergency until damage assessed

Uprooted Tree in Aug 4 Macroburst

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The number of residents living in the dark continues to dwindle, three days after a line of powerful thunderstorms accompanied with strong winds tore through parts of Southern New England Tuesday morning.

The storm threat ended Tuesday night after a potential second round of severe storms was contained to the Boston area and central Massachusetts.

As of 10:38 a.m., 140 customers are without electricity in Rhode Island, according to National Grid. Most of which are in Warwick and Charlestown.

At the height of the outages, more than 120,000 customers were without power.

State Representative Jared Nunes has called on the governor to issue a state of emergency involving the clean-up around areas of the state, including Warwick, West Warwick and Coventry.

“These three communities were hit severely by the storm, and the hardships these families and businesses are going through are devastating,” said Rep. Nunes.

Governor Gina Raimondo commented on the situation, and why she will not declare a state of emergency — at least for the time being.

“You can’t file for a state of emergency or federal aid that goes with that until we’ve assessed the damage, so my state at EMA is in the process of doing that right now and making a preliminary assessment of whether that would make sense,” said Gov. Raimondo.

National Grid Spokesperson David Graves also said he understands the frustration, especially for those who have gone days without power.

“I don’t blame them one bit,” he said. “It’s great for us to say that we’ve got 120,000 customers restored, but if you’re the last customer, you’re frustrated. And you want your power back. And we understand that.”

According to National Grid, the damage to the power lines in Rhode Island was the worst since Hurricane Irene in 2011.

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