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AEP Ohio meets with members of the NAACP to discuss power outages

The NAACP says many of the neighborhoods that were in the dark during last week’s outages were low-income and minority neighborhoods.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Families got some answers from AEP Ohio about last week’s power outages. The NAACP called on the power company, saying many of the neighborhoods in the dark were low-income and minority communities.

“[AEP’s President] needed to come with the NAACP and share with the community, what took place, why did it take place and how are we going to prevent this should it happen again,” said Nana Watson, the president of the Columbus chapter of the NAACP.

The AEP Ohio president said to families Thursday night that outages were not based on neighborhoods, but were based on grid conditions.

“We don't need any more devastation in the Black community, so we wanted to be intentional and strategic and get the answers that the community wanted out about the outage,” Watson said.

“It's part of every community in central Ohio but I get it I understand…that's why we’re here tonight, this was an emergency forced outage based on grid conditions,” said Marc Reitter, AEP Ohio President.

Reitter also fielded questions about the communication to neighborhoods and organizations when forced outages need to happen.

“Operationally the team did outstanding, but communication-wise I dropped the ball and we're going to get that plan fixed,” said Reitter.

The AEP Ohio president committed to having workshops to solve problems, saying the workshops will include the NAACP.

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