UPDATE: Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley said Thursday that the town of Ashland has formally asked his office to investigate the service provided by the Holly Springs Utility Department.
MEMPHIS, Tenn.– It’s been seven long days in the dark for some residents in North Mississippi. The weeklong power outage now has the mayor of Holly Springs in the hot seat.
Seven days of no power also means a week without running water for Benton County residents on the well system.
Rebecca Bigler lives on a farm in Michigan City.
She and her husband have been pulling double duty hauling these buckets filled with lake water to supply their animals and fill up their toilet tanks.
“We have buckets outside the doors we have to take the water inside in order to flush,” Bigler said. “We don’t have electricity, so we don’t have any water and I think that’s harder than not having plain electricity.”
Wednesday, Brandon Presley with the Mississippi Service Commission sounded off about the restoration efforts from the Holly Springs Utility Department in rural communities.
The company services parts of Benton, Marshall, Lafayette, and Tippah Counties.
We’re told at some point 11,000 customers lost power after storms rolled through last week.
A week later that number is now a little less than 100.
“It is obvious it is clear that the response to this storm has been inadequate,” Presley said.
Commissioner Presley pointed to a stack of complaints from residents who say the service they received from HSUD is unacceptable.
Mayor Sharon Gipson says local crews have been working around the clock and linemen from surrounding areas like Memphis Light Gas And Water are pitching in to help.
“I will not accept. I will not concede that the city did not do the best job it could,” Gipson said. “There is no blame as far as I’m concerned for our team. Do we have an opportunity to learn? Yes.”
“Once we are through with this emergency, we’ve got to look at what regulatory actions ensure this does not happen again,” Presley said.
An HSUD official told us they’re expecting to have all power fully restored Wednesday night.
However, with Wednesday night’s rain, a few trees have fallen so they’re anticipating people will call in isolated outages on Thursday.