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Recent Power Outages Due to Accident and Technical Failures

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(Memphis) Four high-profile outages in the last three weeks were caused by one accident and several cable and equipment failures, according to a Memphis Light Gas and Water spokesman.

The outages were not related to the level of usage. While Thursday’s usage was the highest so far in 2013, levels were nowhere near historic records or capacity.

MLGW Spokesman Glen Thomas said the reason for Thursday’s outage, affecting several neighborhoods and more than 5,000 customers, was “underground cable failure, and other types of electrical equipment failure, where on an average day, it’s not all that unusual. But when you combine them in a short period of time, it does get noticed.”

In the last three weeks, downtown areas lost power. Mud Island also lost power one night due to a pole being hit and catching fire.

Then on Tuesday, more than 2,000 customers lost power in Hickory Hill due to a bad cable.

On Thursday, parts of North Memphis, Southeast Memphis, Midtown, and University of Memphis areas were out.

“It’s atypical for sure, especially yesterday, when we had different incidents affecting different parts of town, without something like a thunderstorm being the cause,” Thomas said.

He said that MLGW regularly checks for weak areas to avoid these types of problems.

Even though the issues are not related to usage, he said it is still a good idea to keep your thermostat at 78 degrees and be efficient in your energy usage.

MLGW was recently awarded by the American Public Power Association for their reliability. The award is given out every two years. MLGW has received the award four times in the last eight years.