MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Overnight storms once again left thousands in the dark. WREG spoke to residents who demanded improvements.
Despite it being the first week of school in Bartlett, students at Bon Lin Elementary School had the day off. And they weren’t alone.
Other schools around Bartlett, Arlington and Lakeland were closed due to power outages.
Thousands of MLGW customers also woke up in the dark. “We’ve been here 44 years, and it’s just been a handful of times. But lately, it’s just been every time it rains– it’s going out,” said a resident.
WREG has reported on numerous large-scale power outages this year. Back in June, power for more than 100,000 customers was out for days.
“Last time, we were out five days,” the resident said. “Last Saturday, when it stormed, we were out for a few hours. This time it’s already been seven hours.”
This latest outage comes two days after MLGW President and CEO Doug McGowen gave Memphis City Council members an update on where the utility company is in its five-year improvement plan.
McGowen says while it’s made some infrastructure improvements, it has more work to do, including making system-wide updates and attacking various issues by neighborhood.
“Reducing the number of customers on each line means I need to put more transformers in, put more lines in so I can have less customers on each line,” said McGowen.
However, Shari McLeod, who works from home, says she wants to see results soon. “This is the worst summer so far. I don’t remember this many outages last year.”
As for now, McLeod says she prepares for an outage during every storm. “It’s frustrating. Do you get a hotel room? Do you call up a friend and see if you can go stay with them? I mean, what do you do?”
If you’re experiencing an outage, MLGW encourages residents to report it by calling 544-6500.