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BWL Announces Operational and Customer Service Actions in Response to Ice Storm Outage

Contact: BWL Media Line | 517-342-1026

1/8/2014 8:30:00 AM

LANSING, MI – Lansing Board of Water & Light General Manager J. Peter Lark announced today at the BWL Board of Commissioners special meeting a number of operational and customer service actions in response to the recent ice storm outage.


“Disasters, unfortunately, come with hard lessons and we have learned from this,” said Lark.

The actions include:

  • The BWL has entered into retainer agreements with contractors that immediately triple the number of line crews in an emergency.
  • The BWL will immediately begin the process of hiring additional line workers and a dispatcher.
  • The BWL has tripled the number tree trimming crews presently working.
  • Within the next week, the BWL will have an online outage map that customers can view.
  • The problems with the BWL’s Outage Management System (OMS) have been identified and addressed.
  • Beginning immediately, all customer outage and downed line calls should be made to 877- 295-5001. In addition, the BWL will explore alternative third-party answering services during catastrophic storms.
  • The BWL has created a temporary crisis communications plan. In addition, the BWL has retained a crisis communications firm to finalize and implement a permanent crisis communications plan. The firm will provide additional communications assistance during a crisis.
  • The BWL today posted a newly created position of Social Media Manager to develop and manage strategies to improve communications across all spectrums of social media.
  • The BWL will give customers who suffered outages of 120 hours a $25 credit, per Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) rules. In addition, these customers will receive an extra $5 for each 24 hour period beyond the 120 hours. Details will be announced soon.
  • The BWL is in the process of and will continue a top to bottom review of its outage response. That review will include input from three community forums next Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for BWL customers at locations and times to be announced. A report on this review will be completed and announced in mid-February.