MLGW: Crews are on standby in event of major storm

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- William Dennis says the Tom Lee Storm was the worst one he’s seen since living in Frayser for nearly 30 years.

“We had it rough," he said. "We didn’t have our lights for about eight days. Water was everywhere right up in there. It was tough.”

And with Hurricane Harvey’s remnants expected to come our way, he’s nervous.

“It does make you feel real scared because those trees, I can’t afford to cut those big rascals down. I should’ve thought of that when I bought the house.”

MLGW employees say the biggest threats to trees falling during storms are them getting oversaturated with water or lightning striking.

“We do have crews on standby in the event we have a major storm come through here, so we will be ready," said Gale Jones Carson with MLGW.

She says they have troubleshooters and linemen ready to go and are prepared to call in outside crews if it gets to that level.

“You really don’t know what impact it’s going to have on our system, how many outages we’re going to have," she said.

City of Memphis crews and TDOT workers are also preparing by clearing drains across the city and on interstates to prevent flash flooding.

TDOT spokespeople say they’re going to spots off interstates, like 240 and 55 South, where debris and trash have clogged drains in the past.

“Sometimes it is what it is, it’s flash flooding and we just have to shut those lanes down until that water recedes," said Nichole Lawrence, a spokesperson for TDOT.

She said they’re in communication with the National Weather Service to know what areas to respond to first and will have road conditions posted on their SmartWay System on their website for people at home.

Officials want to always remind people to stay off the roads during heavy downpours if possible, and if your power goes out, be sure to report it to MLGW and not assume it’s known about.