Public Service Commission Investigates Storm Response

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The West Virginia Public Service Commission (PSC) is investigating the response of power and utility companies to the June 29 derecho aftermath.

It's been nearly a month since the storm knocked out power for two-thirds of the state and stretched the resources of service companies thin.

"It was hard to believe there was that kind of damage," Sonny Argento said in Kanawha City. "I've lived near around here my whole life and just never saw that many trees down and that much property damage."

Now, the PSC is evaluating how power and utility companies worked to restore people's service. They sent a list of 11 questions to each company and are requiring written responses to each in the next 30 days.

That got some Kanawha County residents thinking about the companies' storm response too.

"I know [the storm] was monumental," Argento said. "I'm sure they did all that they could do."

Jay Goldman of Charleston agreed. "They were able to coordinate and bring people in," he said. "That was important. The type of storm we had was once in a lifetime."

Officials say the point of the investigation is not to cast blame but to learn from the past. They're hoping the results will save West Virginians from re-living a whole lot of inconvenience.

"We had a little generator going... fired it up to keep the refrigerator and the freezer going," Goldman said. "You just learn to camp out in your own home."

PSC officials say it's too early to tell if any hearings will be held in connection with the storm response.

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