PAWTUCKET — As the power outages continue throughout many neighborhoods in Pawtucket, Mayor Donald Grebien and the police and fire chiefs say they are still largely in the dark as to when National Grid will have the electricity for the entire city fully restored.
Following a statewide conference call on Tuesday for city officials statewide, the Grebien Administration issued a memo saying that the latest news was that supplemental National Grid crews arrived at the Community College of Rhode Island in Warwick that afternoon and crews had been arriving in the city throughout the day.
Grebien issued a statement saying, “We're as frustrated as everyone else trying to get answers from National Grid. I just ask that people be as patient as possible and we will continue to press for more information and put it out to the public as we get it.”
With five of the city's schools still without power, Schools Supt. Deborah Cylke has now delayed the start of the new school year to Friday, Sept. 2, with teachers and staff to report on Thursday, Sept. 1.
However, Cylke cautioned that there is the possibility that the opening day could change again, possibly to Tuesday, Sept. 6, if the electricity remains out.
Cylke said that beyond the need to use the schools' computers for registering students and other administrative matters, there is a safety issue with having students in classrooms with no lighting.
She noted that interior areas of the school building, such as bathrooms, would be particularly dark, and said the schools would also be unable to provide children with lunches.
Cylke said she had been told that National Grid had repaired three main transmission stations that were considered to be at the root of the city's problems and that crews were now beginning work on damaged sub-stations.
She said she had been told that the city's power issues would be resolved within the next 48 hours, but could not be provided with any further assurances beyond that.
Traffic signals remain out at six major intersections, and city officials say police will be monitoring these from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. These intersections include Newport/Armistice, Newport/Waterman, Newport/Columbus, Mineral Spring/Lonsdale, Mineral Spring/Smithfield and Mineral Spring/Power.
Grebien once again is urging drivers and pedestrians to use extreme caution.