Businesses frustrated by frequent MLGW power outages

Businesses frustrated by frequent MLGW power outages
Published: Jul. 2, 2018 at 7:11 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2018 at 8:24 AM CDT
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CORDOVA, TN (WMC) - A storm rolled through the Mid-South on Monday afternoon, knocking out power to much of East Memphis and Cordova.

At 3 p.m., over 9,000 MLGW customers were without power. Click here to track the latest outages.

One victim of the blackout was the Malco Theater in Cordova.

The theater on North Germantown Parkway lost power with customers inside watching movies.

Malco said customers who were watching a movie during the outage will receive a full refund.

There were also reports of flooding in Cordova at one point, although the water has receded.

"As bad as it is to sit at home with no power, it's really bad to sit at work when you can't make any money," said Andrew Towery.

For Towery and countless others at the Cordova Town Center, It was business not as usual Monday afternoon.

"My business for the day, especially the lunch rush, is totally gone at this point," said Michael Davis from Mike's Hot Wings.

Mike's Hot Wings had no wings, Malco Cordova Cinema had no cinema. They were just some of the more than 9,000 homes and businesses who were without power during the height of the outage around 1 p.m. in the afternoon.

"Big, black cloud came through and we seen the lightning flashing and heard the transformer pop," Davis said.

Power outages have become the norm. In just over a week, MLGW has had four major power outages dating back to Saturday, June 23 where nearly 35,000 people were without power.

Five days later, another outage left more than 7,000 in the dark. Two days later, 8,000 were without power.

While the exact reason for all these power outages is unclear, we do know that according to documents MLGW provided to the city council, the majority of its substation equipment dates back to the 1950's, 60's and 70's.

Memphis City Council MLGW Committee Chair Patrice Robinson said last week that the city's trees also contribute to service interruptions.

"The storm is just something that happens that we need to be prepared for, that's why it's so important to keep enough money in our rainy day fund," Robinson said.

Sunday, the 2 percent electrical and gas rate increase kicked in for MLGW customers.

As for Davis, he just wants the problem fixed so he can turn a profit instead of waiting to turn the lights back on.

WMC5 has asked MLGW authorities countless times over the past week if there are any long-term solutions for all these power outages. Monday, we again were told they would look into our requests.

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