Hearing offers customers a chance to respond to utilities’ January storm efforts
March 15, 2012
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 11:15 a.m. March 15, 2012
Utility customers from Issaquah and other areas impacted during the January storms can offer input on energy and telephone companies’ responses at a public hearing in Olympia.
People affected by the snowstorm and subsequent ice storm can speak at the state Utilities and Transportation Commission’s public hearing Monday. The commission meets at 9:30 a.m. Monday at 1300 S. Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia.
Starting at 9:30 a.m., Puget Sound Energy representatives plan to discuss electricity-related problems encountered during the storms. Then, at 10:30 a.m., regional cable and telephone companies plan to discuss performance during the storms. The public comment portion starts at 11:15 a.m.
On Jan. 18, the snowstorm caused minor headaches compared to the subsequent ice storm, as more than 18,000 customers in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 customers in Western Washington lost power.
Representatives from PSE — the energy provider for Issaquah and the surrounding area — CenturyLink, Frontier and Comcast plan to discuss clean-up and repair costs from the storm and length of time needed to restore electricity or phone service to customers. The utilities also intend to address what steps can be taken to improve service during future severe weather.
The storms knocked out electricity and telephone service to thousands of people for days. Some residents — including people in Issaquah and nearby communities, such as Mirrormont — experienced power and phone outages lasting a week or more.
State regulators received 48 calls from consumers complaining about the length of outages, priorities of repairs and burying more power lines.
The commission has the authority to regulate the electricity and local telephone rates and services provided by the state’s private utility companies.