10,000+ still without power in Memphis as clock winds down for MLGW deadline to fully restore power

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 6:15 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s been nine days since an ice storm swept through Memphis.

At last check, Memphis Light, Gas and Water estimated the city-wide outages impacted as many as 233,000 people.

On Friday, temperatures may have been above 70, but there were still thousands left in the dark, still waiting for their power to be restored.

Many of MLGW’s customers who were out of power for four, five or six days made their way to the Dave Wells Community Center in North Memphis for a food giveaway.

These customers were left with little to no food in their homes after the storm, much of it spoiled from being left in a powerless fridge or freezer.

“I had to throw out my whole freezer,” Stan Harris, a Frayser resident, told us after telling us he’d been out of power for 5 days.

Mary Thomas was similar in her situation.

She’s also a Frayser resident who didn’t have the lights come on for five days and came to the food giveaway to get some food restoration to compliment her power restoration.

“I pray that in the future we would not have to go through this again,” Thomas said. “I just pray they can get to everyone quicker.”

MLGW hoped to supply food to at least 500 customers at Friday’s food giveaway.

“We do care about our customers,” said Gale Jones Carson, MLGW’s VP for Community and External Affairs. “This is just another extension of what we do for our community.”

Meanwhile in Orange Mound, a large portion of the outages remained on Friday.

The outages we saw there were spread out and individual, which falls down MLGW’s priority list for power restoration.

Many of these outages dwindled as the day went on, some homeowners telling us they had just received power or were told they’d have it within the hour at the time of an MLGW visit.

Jones Carson told us she remains confident the deadline set by MLGW of midnight Friday night would be met.

“Now, we may have a few more on Saturday, but they may be individual customers who were out and are not on circuits or taps or whatever,” Jones Carson said. “Our goal is to try and get as many of our customers as we can on or by 11:59 tonight.”

MLGW is warning customers about scams during this time.

Several reports of calls demanding money or face a cutoff of utilities have come in, and MLGW makes the following clarifications for customers.

“MLGW representatives will never call and demand money,” an MLGW rep told Action News 5. “Likewise, they will not come to a customer’s door and ask for money for repairs. MLGW employees always have a company ID and drive official vehicles with an MLGW logo. Also, MLGW has temporarily suspended disconnecting services because of non-payment until further notice.”

MLGW encourages customers to do their research when selecting a tree trimming company and to make sure contractors have a company license and insurance.

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