Madison mayor calls ATC's report on substation fire 'wholly inadequate'

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV)-- An electrical company has responded to Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s request for a full report on the substation explosion last summer.

Earlier this week the American Electrical Company said in a press release that a “mechanical failure” in a transformer caused the substation on Blount Street to catch fire.

The fire and explosion at the substation fire knocked out power for thousands and caused hours-long traffic jams across the city's downtown July 19.

The mayor then sent a letter to the company, saying that “neither the city nor the county have been given the final report related to this troubling incident.”

On Friday the CEO of ATC, Mike Rowe, replied to the mayor’s letter saying the company is “available to meet with you at your convenience to answer any questions you may have.”

Rowe said that the company had pinpointed what they believe to be the cause of the substation fire, and had released an explanation to the public. Now the company is focusing on finding similar flaws in their other transformers, Rowe said.

According to Rowe’s letter Friday:

“Power outages are an inconvenience for the community and businesses who count on electric system reliability to power their everyday life. Our aim is to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong. On July 19, we fell short of that objective. While no utility will ever have 100% reliability, we commit to continuous improvement.”

Mayor Rhodes-Conway responded to Rowe's response Friday, saying that it "is wholly inadequate."

According to the Friday email from the mayor's office:

"They did not turn over the investigative report, and they did not even address the questions I raised in my letter. It makes you wonder what they are not telling us. It is nice of them to offer me a meeting, but it is the public that deserves answers. We are still awaiting the full report."