Live: Track the Storms

MLGW: Focus now shifts to smaller outages across city

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MLGW continues to work around the clock to restore power to the thousands still left in the dark.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 44,000 people are still without power.

That’s down from the peak of 188,000.

During a news conference at City Hall, officials said they have cleared 256 cases of trees in the streets, which is over half of the total reports.

About 75 intersections are dark and they have crews working to fix those and direct traffic.

A main issue brought up was the long lines at the two Department of Human Services offices where people are waiting in the heat to reinstate food stamps.

They’re having crews bring them water and offering free transportation.

They’re also tightening the communication between MLGW and DHS to get people food quicker than initially said.

But one topic brought up today as well is how they want to see Governor Bill Haslam in Memphis to see the devastation for himself.

“I think everybody feels better when they see the person who has power coming in, being sensitive and talking to the rest of the community and that’s what we’ll do, we’ll put in a call to him and see if he’ll come in this week because he has a plane, he has access,” said Representative Joe Towns.

Full restoration is expected to take more than a week.

MLGW said it is serving neighborhoods with the most customers first, then attending to smaller circuits.

As of Wednesday, crews have shifted their focus to the smaller outages across the area.

They said while they will be making progress, the rate of restoration will slow down due to the more intensive work required.

In addition to MLGW crews, 73 contractors from East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio have been brought in to assist in making repairs.

Twenty tree trimming crews have also been hired.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience,” said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins, Jr. “If you see one of our workers out in the field working, give them a smile, give them a wave and maybe a cold drink of water.”

Many viewers have called WREG saying they are still without power but their neighbors have their power restored.

In response, MLGW said smaller outages may go undetected.

That’s why it is important you report your outage by calling (901) 544-6500.