JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - The Mississippi Public Service Commission voted on temporarily suspending disconnections of certain utility services for 60 days in a special meeting Sunday.
The restriction will apply to all water, sewer, electricity and gas services in the state after Gov. Tate Reeves’ Declaration of a State of Emergency on Saturday, March 14 regarding the spread of COVID-19.
PSC coordinated with the Mississippi State Department of Health and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency throughout the weekend to apply protocols that will make sure all Mississippians have access to essential utility services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Utility customers should still continue to pay outstanding bills and pay for services provided during the 60 days.
“We are trying to be as proactive as we can and do our part to not only help prevent the spread of the virus, but to not put any additional stress on utility customers and our workforce,” said PSC Chairman Dane Maxwell. “It’s very important to us at the PSC to keep our customers and utility partners’ welfare a top priority during this time.”
Commissioner for the Northern District of PSC, Brandon Presley, comments on how the suspension should help the health and welfare of the public.
“This emergency order will keep vital services connected for our people and protect public health and welfare,” said Presley. “We’ve taken this action at the recommendation of the Health Department and MEMA and we will continue to coordinate any further action with them.”
“As we enter uncharted waters, we must sometimes take extraordinary steps to protect consumers, especially our most vulnerable ones, continue commerce and service the public interest,” said Commission Brent Baily for the Central District. “We don’t take the execution of today’s action lightly, but the Commission felt that it needed to issue this Order to protect public health and welfare.”
PSC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and encourages the public to take part in measures the Center of Disease Control and Prevention and MSDH have set in order to prevent the transmission of the virus, including frequent hand-washing, sanitizing commonly touched services and the ability to remain at home should symptoms develop.