Committee analyzes response of utility companies to power outages
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Committee analyzes response of utility companies to power outages

Date: February 14, 2007
By: Amy Becker
State Capitol Bureau

FOR MISSY

Intro: A surprisingly tame House Utilities Committee heard testimony from Missouri Utility companies about their response to recent power outages.

Amy Becker has more from the state Capitol.

Recent ice storms in Missouri left thousands without power.  Some went without electricity for several weeks.

A few members of the House Utilities Committee said utility companies did not properly comminicate with those who had no power.

John Twitty, Manager of City Utilities in Springfield, said there was a more positive than negative response from their customers.  But the main complaint from callers was the absence of a real human voice.
OutCue: SOC

Actuality:  UTILITY.WAV
Run Time: 00:06
Description: When you have 71 percent of your customers out, there's just physically no way to answer every call with a human voice.

Twitty said the best thing to do if you are without power is to call City Utilities.  He says the outage system needs an address in order to know where power is out.

From Jefferson City, I'm Amy Becker.

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Recent ice storms left thousands in Missouri without power.  Utility Companies got a chance Wednesday to explain their response to power outages.

Amy Becker has more from Jefferson City.

The House Utilities Committee heard testimony from utility companies including City Utilities and Ameren UE.

John Twitty, Manager of City Utilities, went over his companies response to the power outage that left 65,000 in Springfield without power.

Twitty says outages can be avoided in the future by focusing more on tree trimming.

 
Actuality:  TREES.WAV
Run Time: 00:12
Description: As a practical matter, nobody's gonna allow you to get a fifty foot clearance.  But should the six feet be ten or should the ten feet be fifteen, those are certainly fair questions we will analyze on a going forward basis.

Trees are a main cause of outages by falling on power lines when it gets icy or windy outside.  Twitty says tree trimming is a judgment call on exactly how far a tree needs to be from power lines.  He says it all comes down to what community members want the company to do.

From the State Capitol, I'm Amy Becker.