Utility Companies Meet In Charleston To Discuss June 29 Storm

Representatives from utility companies from across West Virginia are meeting in Charleston today in a public meeting to discuss with the state Public Service Commission their response to the June 29th derecho.

“Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, AEP, First Energy, Black Diamond Power, Frontier Communications and West Virginia American Water are all expected to be presenting their reports to the commission,” said Public Service Commission spokesperson Martina Johnson

Earlier this summer the PSC gave utility companies 30 days to create and send in a report detailing their operation plans to handle outages, discuss the extent of the outages and run through the problems that caused repair delays following the storm.

Johnson said the utility companies involved will be presenting and explaining their reports they were required to put together regarding the storm during the meeting and then will answer any questions asked by the PSC and other parties in the case.

The public meeting is the second part of a general investigation being conducted by the PSC into how well the utility companies responded to the storm.

Johnson said the goal of this investigation is not to point fingers.

“The goal of this general investigation is not to cast blame on any of these utilities,” said Johnson. “Their just trying to see what everyone can learn from the process just in case a storm like this comes through West Virginia again.”

The hearing begins at 9:30 a.m. at the commission headquarters in downtown Charleston and is expected to last most of the day as each company presents their report.

Johnson said once the meeting is over, the PSC will take the information collected and use that to determine the next step to be taken in this general investigation.

The June 29 storm knocked out power to a third of the state and it took 5,100 workers from 22 states, including Kansas, South Dakota and Nebraska, more than 12 days to restore service.

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