Public Service Commissioner frustrated with Entergy over power outages

Published 12:46 pm Monday, June 19, 2023

Central District Public Service Commissioner Brent Bailey expressed deep concern and disappointment Monday over Entergy Mississippi, LLC’s (EML) response efforts to the recent ongoing storm systems that continue to cause widespread outages in the Central District.

Bailey said in a release his office has received numerous complaints from residents and businesses throughout the district about the delay in restoring power, which has caused undue hardship and inconvenience for many.

“I am extremely frustrated and disappointed by Entergy Mississippi’s response to the recent storms,” Bailey said. “The delay in restoring power has caused significant hardship for their customers and it is unacceptable. We expect EML to take swift action to address this issue and ensure that our communities are not left in the dark for prolonged periods of time in the aftermath of future severe weather events.”

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Bailey said in a release his office has repeatedly urged EML to improve its response strategy to severe storms and take proactive measures to prevent outages. Despite these efforts, the power company has failed to meet the expectations of its customers, leaving tens of thousands without power for days.

In his statement, Bailey identified a few of the concerns he has, including lack of overall preparation, outsourcing of critical services, reductions in field staff, general maintenance of the grid, vegetation management and inadequate customer service contributing to lack of customer confidence.

The commissioner called on the power company to provide a detailed report on its response to the recent storms and outline steps it will take to improve its overall preparedness, response and restoration plans while keeping safety as a top priority. He also urged EML to work closely with local officials and community leaders to ensure that residents are kept informed and updated on the progress of power restoration efforts.

“Our job as Commissioners is to hold our utilities and power providers accountable for providing affordable and reliable service,” Bailey said. “I will continue to monitor the situation closely, take all necessary steps to ensure that EML responds to my requests and evaluate additional measures the commission can pursue to improve utility performance and reliability.”