Comm Brent Bailey Announces Completion of Utility Infrastructure Review following 2021 Winter Storm
Commissioner Brent Bailey announced today, on behalf of the Commission, the completion of the Public Service Commission’s Public Utility Infrastructure Review Report.
The Commission launched a comprehensive review of the Magnolia State’s public utility infrastructure in February 2021 following the extreme winter storms. The report is being released during the one year anniversary week of the historic weather event.
“Our jobs as regulators charge us with the responsibility to ensure utilities provide reliable services across a resilient infrastructure network,” Commissioner Bailey said. “New challenges for our utilities statewide were presented during the unprecedented 2021 winter storm event which we felt should be examined. Icy roads, downed vegetation, ice on utility infrastructure and other effects of the long-term, bitterly cold temperatures caused thousands of customers to go without power and/or water for several days.”
The Commission sought information regarding the actions being taken to ensure reliable operations of electric, gas, water and telecommunication utilities in anticipation of other future extreme weather events and conditions. The report reflects the responses received from scores of utilities which were compiled and analyzed by resiliency specialists to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each sector and to provide recommendations on improvements.
“Mississippi is no stranger to extreme weather events. I commend our utility partners across the state for their continuous work to improve and sustain the resiliency of systems that deliver critical, essential services to Mississippi’s utility customers,” said Commissioner Bailey. “Utilities spend millions and millions of dollars each year to maintain the safety and reliability of utility delivery systems. Those prudent expenditures are what keep the electricity, gas, water and communications flowing in times of extreme weather or other natural events.”
The report was prepared by staff members of Del Sol Consulting, Inc. (Del Sol), a disaster recovery consulting firm specializing in expert consultation and staff augmentation to clients facing the daunting tasks of pre-planning for potential natural disasters, and effectively implementing long-term recovery strategies. Del Sol was supported by Royal Engineers and Consultants, LLC, a full-service engineering and consulting firm with significant experience in the management of disaster recovery programs.