MLGW crews working to restore outage to thousands after severe storm

Published: Jul. 19, 2023 at 12:57 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2023 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) President Doug McGowen says people should expect several more days of power outages following Tuesday’s storms.

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, more than 44,000 MLGW customers remain without power—down from a peak of 135,000.

According to the utility, there are 96 repair crews, 89 tree crews, 23 troubleshooters, and 20 damage assessment teams identifying damage and repairing infrastructure.

MLGW officials say the priority Wednesday evening is to restore the 17 main circuits that remain out, each of which supports more than 1,000 customers.

McGowen says there is no exact date for when power will be restored to all, but dozens of crews are already on the case, working to restore power.

He says one reason for widespread outages was because of lightning at substations, causing them to trip offline; those have since been turned back on.

Another reason was gusty winds knocking down power lines and power poles, like on Winchester Road, where 11 poles were toppled.

Lastly, trees were toppled in the storm, with many limbs landing on power lines.

McGowen is asking residents to be prepared to clear their area as crews come to work on power restoration.

“If you have rear lot line service...if you are out, please make sure your backyard is accessible,” McGowen said. “Please make sure our crews can get there. Put your dogs up and that you eliminate any other hazards there and that you allow our folks to do their work so they they can get your power on as quickly as possible.”

He says crews are working non-stop and will continue to do so until all outages are fixed.

He also says he recognizes how frustrating the constant outages are, but emphasizes that MLGW has been moving the funding where it needs to be in order to make the proper fixes--something he says they’re already seeing in places like Orange Mound.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for a place to keep cool, there are several locations open in the city of Memphis.

Important Safety Reminders and Tips:

  • Call 211 for emergency shelter and other resources.
  • Customers who currently receive SNAP can apply for replacement benefits HERE
  • An MLGW emergency response dashboard is online HERE
  • Always call 901-528-4465 to report emergencies like downed powerlines and gas leaks. MLGW asks customers to stay away from downed powerlines. DO NOT TOUCH or cut limbs across powerlines. They could be energized (hot).
  • MLGW customers can report power outages and check the status of their outage through My Account or by calling the automated outage number: 901-544-6500. Customers can also check the online outage map HERE

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