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.

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One Response to “Hearing offers customers a chance to respond to utilities’ January storm efforts”

  1. Carole & James Bush on March 15th, 2012 12:17 pm

    We live at 4727 118 Loop SW, Olympia 98512, in the Field of Dreams subdivision. I would like to have an explanation as to why our address & residents on 118th Loop do not get the same service as residents on Dream St. in our subdivision. Their power comes in from a different direction. We on 118 Loop are the last to have our power restored in “any” outage which is many on our 118th Loop address. We pay the same amount of money for our service but do not receive equal restoration and seem to be forgotten and are hoping that improvements to our service line in to our homes at our address can be improved. Eight plus days for our outage is too much in this “day and age”. Please fix. A $50 credit is “peanut” for compensation. Please fix the problem at our address. We have numerous outages. Thank you.

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