BWL Announces Changes Resulting from the Ice Storm Outage Crisis

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During a special BWL Board of Commissioners Meeting Tuesday night, the board announced several changes based on what general manager J. Peter Lark called "hard lessons" learned from late-December's ice storm outage crisis. The changes include:

- retainer agreements with contractors to triple the number of line crews available in emergencies

- hiring more line workers and a dispatcher

- tripling the number of tree-trimming crews

- having an outage map customers can use within the next week

- fixing problems found in the Outage Management System

- looking into hiring a firm to answer customer calls during "catastrophic" outages

- creating a temporary crisis communications plan and hiring a firm to implement a permanent plan and to help in any future crisis

- hiring a Social Media Manager

- giving customers who went 120 hours without power a $25 credit and an additional $5 for every 24 hours after the initial 120 hours

The board will also hold community forums Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, times and locations to be announced. A final review of the crisis will be announced in mid-February. Any customers dealing with outages and downed line can call 877- 295-5001.

News 10's Josh Sidorowicz attended Tuesday night's meeting and will have a wrap-up on News 10 at 11pm.

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