BWL Makes 53 Improvements For Outage Reports - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

BWL Makes 53 Improvements For Outage Reports

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) - The Board of Water and Light commissioners met with Lansing City Council this morning to discuss what happened during the December ice storm.

Power outage reporting, tree trimming and crisis management are all top of mind for both groups.

BWL General Manager Peter Lark and his commissioners talked about some changes to prevent a similar crisis from happening again.

"I'm telling you it won't happen again," said Lark.

Peter Lark began the meeting by acknowledging that BWL's outage system wasn't working properly during the ice storm.

"My job is to find problems and fix them so they don't happen again."

Lark says they've started with 53 improvements to how BWL reports outages, which was a huge issue during the ice storm.

"And what that's going to do is make BWL a much stronger utility, a much better utility, a much more responsive utility for its customers than it was 3 months ago," said Peter Lark.

That just about sums up the theme of the meeting.

"Customers have to be at the forefront."

BWL's greatest effort to put customers first is their new interactive outage map, which Lark says they've thoroughly stress-tested.

"Last night we had a somewhat significant outage in East Lansing and some friends called me and said it worked perfectly, so we're very proud of that."

The map should be even more interactive by next week, but what Lark's even more excited about is the BWL mobile app they hope to release by August.

"People will be able to at work, take a look at the number, dial in their cell phone, and find out does my house have electricity or doesn't it?"

Compared to other meetings today's was calm and conversational.

Lark says he can't promise there won't be another disaster in the future, but he can promise BWL will be better prepared.

The Lansing City Council is still waiting for the Community Review Team's assessment as well, but they have confirmed BWL spent $4.5 million during the ice storm.

They're now requesting a full break-down of expenses during that time.

By Sari Soffer, 6 News Intern

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