JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, the three Mississippi Public Service Commissioners announced they will launch a comprehensive review of the state’s public utility infrastructure after last week’s winter storms. The review will begin immediately.
The commissioners said their goal was to ensure that all reasonable steps be taken to protect the reliability of electric, gas, water and sewer service at all times. They said the storm presented new challenges to the state’s utilities that must be addressed.
“Grid resiliency and reliability is an incredibly important issue and we must maintain a proactive approach to protect our systems and infrastructure,” Chairman Dane Maxwell said. “The extreme winter weather last week brought to light many issues throughout the region that must be addressed to ensure forced outages on a massive scale do not happen here in Mississippi like we saw in other parts of the country.”
“Although the majority of utilities performed well during the recent extreme weather, the events have raised the bar of preparation and preventative actions utilities should take to minimize outages,” Commissioner Brent Bailey said. “Our emphasis remains on providing Mississippi residents with effective communication, ensuring reliability and preventing the loss of vital public utility services during any inclement weather conditions, particularly for the most vulnerable of customers.”
“It is our highest duty as Commissioners to make sure that we not only solve problems but anticipate them ahead of time,” Commissioner Brandon Presley said. “This latest winter storm has presented challenges that must be addressed in a formal and thorough manner. Mississippians deserve to have every assurance that the public and private power grid, water and other utility services will be there at all times. After all, the customers are the ones paying for it. Working families and small businesses are already financially struggling because of the pandemic, we must protect their pocketbooks along the way.”