MADISON COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – In June, powerful storms and technical issues caused major issues for one of Mississippi’s largest electric companies.
Mississippi Public Service Commissioner for the Central District Brent Bailey said the storms that rolled through Central Mississippi were unlike anything he’s seen before. He said the National Weather Service (NWS) issued more than 200 severe thunderstorm warnings, 14 tornado warnings and seven flash flood warnings in less than a month.
“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 the hurricanes 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, which was an area that was hit hard by some of the storms. People were able to talk to representatives from several utility companies.
Entergy Mississippi got the most heat for the interruptions, which impacted more than 70% of its customers during the June storms. Entergy officials said that along with the severe weather, software complications caused delays and inaccuracies with estimated restoration times.
“We do have a plan in place, and I think following up from this meeting, we can work with the City of Madison to explain and go into detail further,” said Sandy Powlett, customer service manager with 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 personnel to troubleshoot on-site during severe weather events.
“A very comprehensive report. It did identify a few deficiencies there, some things that they realized they could do better. We’re going to continue to work with them. We still have a few more questions based on the information they provided. Want to continue to dig into that to know that they’re doing all they can to prepare for any type of extreme event that comes along. And they’re going to have a response plan in place that is adequate,” Bailey said.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first of a series of meetings. In the coming weeks, Bailey said he plans to host more across the Central District’s 22 counties.