MLGW restores 34,000 customers impacted by storms

Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 3:29 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2023 at 6:46 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW) crews are in the process of restoring outages due to severe weather Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

At the peak, 24,400 customers were out simultaneously, and a total of 36,000 were impacted by the storms. Additionally, 3,000 customers were without power due to non-storm-related outages, such as vehicles striking utility poles.

Since early Wednesday, 34,000 customers have been restored and crews are working on restoring approximately 5,000 customers who lost power either due to the storm or knocked-down poles.

Full restoration is expected by Friday, August 11 at midnight.

Stephen Fowler lives near the University of Memphis and says he lost power twice Wednesday.

“We just have to try to prepare and get used to it. It looks like this is going to be the new normal,” said Memphis resident Stephen Fowler.

Some of his neighbors tell us after getting power back, they lost it again during Thursday morning’s storm.

“It’s been three times this summer I’ve had to throw food out,” said Fowler. “Probably $800.”

The City of Memphis says they’ve received reports of five fallen trees that are now cleared. In a monthly update to Memphis City Council on MLGW’s five-year plan, President and CEO Doug McGowen told city leaders about 60% of outages are caused by trees.

MLGW had a goal of trimming 7,000 miles of trees by 2025. As of July crews have trimmed 1,755 miles. Memphis has over 4,500 miles of overhead lines near those trees.

“In the last 10 years, we should have cut 14,000 miles, we actually cut 8,200,” said McGowen. “That’s only about 50% complete. So we are behind. That’s about a five-year delta from where we should be.”

McGowen says vegetation contractors have begun working on trimming.

A report is expected to city council next month.

Fowler hopes that work can get done as soon as safely possible.

“The trimming of the trees is important, and I know they’ve had trouble in the last few years with robberies and things like that of their crews,” said Fowler. “We need to prepare.”

Customers can report or receive updates about their outage by calling 901-544-6500 or using MLGW My Account.

Important Notices/Reminders

  • Call 211 for emergency shelter and other resources.
  • Customers who currently receive SNAP can apply for replacement benefits here.
  • Please always call 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).

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