The meeting focuses on utilities’ response to the June storms
MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – In June, strong storms and technical issues caused major problems for one of Mississippi’s largest electric companies.
Brent Bailey, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for the Middle District, said the storms that swept through central Mississippi were unlike anything he had seen before. The National Weather Service has issued more than 200 severe thunderstorm warnings, 14 tornado warnings and seven flash flood warnings in less than a month, he said.
“It was not a normal event for the state of Mississippi. Yes, we get storms. We get extreme weather activities all the time. We’ve seen tornadoes and tornadoes, but I’ll tell you what, this June storm event was really significant. “It was unprecedented,” Bailey said.
He held a meeting in Madison County on Tuesday, an area that was hit hard by some of the storms. People were able to talk to representatives from several utility companies.
Entergy Mississippi had the most outages, affecting more than 70% of its customers during the June storms. Combined with inclement weather, software complexities have caused delays and inaccuracies in estimated restoration times, Entergy officials said.
“We have a plan in place, and I think after this meeting, we can work with the city of Madison to explain and go into more detail,” said Sandy Paulette, director of customer service for Entergy Mississippi.
Bailey said Entergy submitted a report to his office, detailing all of its data and plans moving forward, including adding a team of IT staff to troubleshoot on-site issues during severe weather events.
“A very comprehensive report. It identified some deficiencies there, and some things that they realized they could do better. We will continue to work with them. We still have some additional questions based on the information they provided. We want to continue to dig into that to see that they are doing everything they can.” They can prepare for any type of extreme event that might come. “They will have an appropriate response plan,” Bailey said.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first in a series of meetings. In the coming weeks, Bailey said he plans to host more across the Central District’s 22 counties.