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BWL reaches out to local police and fire officials

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Lansing Board of Water & Lightofficials sat down with first responders this morning to discuss ways to improve their communication.

An ice storm last December knocked out power to 40% of BWL customers.  Thousands of people spent more than a week waiting for their electricity to be restored.

 It also disrupted many local police and fire departments.

“There were a lot of things we weren’t prepared for,” says Trent Atkins, BWL’s new emergency operations chief.

Since the December 2013 ice storm, BWL has been working to improve both its internal operations and its external communications.

David Hall is Meridian Township police chief. Hall says part of his small community was among the hardest hit by the 2013 ice storm and the long wait for BWL to restore power. 

He feels BWL is better prepared now.

“There’s no doubt in my mind we’re going to see a different BWL,” says Hall. 

The utility has upgraded its emergency communication system to include social media and more online resources.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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