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‘It’s a crisis’: Holly Springs residents say they’ve been randomly losing power for 5 years

State leaders are sounding the alarm over constant power outages in north Mississippi stemming from what is believed to be a lack of leadership within the Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD).

An issue that has plagued residents for roughly five years and was further exacerbated by the infamous ice storm in 2021 is finally coming to light. In a recent episode of The Gallo Show, newly elected Northern District Public Service Commissioner Chris Brown said that the problem is so bad that there have been 133 power outages reported in the last 90 days in the HSUD’s service area.

Residents have persistently complained that the outages have been constant and long-lasting due to an aging power grid that has allegedly been neglected for years. According to Brown, a transformer in the district exploded five years ago and has yet to be replaced, further highlighting the lack of attention to the power infrastructure by the HSUD, which encompasses Marshall, Benton, Lafayette, Hardeman, and Fayette counties in Mississippi and Tennessee.

During a public meeting held at Rust College in Holly Springs last summer, one user claimed that the power went out three different times while trying to register her children for school. Another resident said that his power was out for nearly 100 consecutive hours. Others stated that their power had been disabled on multiple occasions while the sun was shining and no inclement weather had impacted the service area.

Brown contended that the HSUD has failed to send financial reports and updates to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the electricity provider for 153 power companies, including the HSUD. This has made it much more difficult for regulators to get to the root of what has caused persistent outages to take place even in favorable conditions.

“TVA is supposed to get financial reports from the HSUD and other things to stay in compliance and they just haven’t done it,” Brown said. “We don’t know exactly where they’re at financially because we can’t get the data or information we need.”

On top of customers going days without power, conditions in the service district

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