MEMPHIS, Tenn. — When your power goes out and your everyday routines dramatically change, the main question on your mind is, how long will this last?
It’s the question Memphis Light Gas and Water hears often. So how do they decide where to start first?
MLGW Senior Vice President and COO Alonzo Weaver explained that power restoration is not targeted at any particular neighborhood first.
However, there is a priority list.
“We are gonna look at key facilities first, such as hospitals, water pumping stations, sewage plants, and that sort of thing,” Weaver said.
That’s to ensure those critical public health and safety facilities have power.
Then MLGW works on circuits, the kind you see along Poplar Avenue where utility lines go from the poles to the homes. Those circuits have thousands of customers on each circuit. It’s where MLGW can get the most bang for its buck by getting more people back on line.
MLGW says the most overloaded power circuits with the most customers are inside the I-240 loop, so those may get attention first.
“Circuits are usually carrying from 1,500 to over 2,500 customers on each circuit. We have a bunch of those that are out,” Weaver explained.
After power circuits comes partial circuits and overhead fuse outages.
But what many want to know about is those individual outages that are at most homes.
Unfortunately, those can take a bit longer.
“We will probably start our services, which are services to the house, we will start putting those back up probably starting tomorrow,” Weaver said.
“We cannot turn on individual customer’s services during such a critical storm. We have to, as Alonzo said earlier, take the big circuits and get the most people on at one time,” MLGW’s Gale Jones Carson added.
Carson stated that they are not putting anyone before anyone else.
The word MLGW wants everyone to remember is patience and that they will get you up and going as soon as possible.
But it may be more like a marathon than a sprint.
“We are at a point right now if you are out, and especially if you are out in an area affected by multiple tree damage…you can expect to be another several days before you can be restored,” MLGW’s JT Young said.