Restoration progress will slow down
Today, MLGW workers will focus on smaller outages as the utility continues to make progress on day four in its restoration efforts following straight line winds which knocked out as many as 188,000 customers on Saturday. More than 143,000 customers have regained power and about 45,000 customers are still without power currently. Full restoration could take more than a week.
As the utility tackles smaller outages, the rate of restoration will slow down. These smaller outages require more intensive work. Crews will have more obstacles such as making repairs in back yards where poles and wires are situated.
MLGW continues to maintain 73 contractor crews from East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio who are working with MLGW crews around the clock to make repairs.
In addition, the utility has contracted 20 additional tree trimming crews for a total of 78 tree trimming crews to make clearance for electric line crews.
Customers who have damage to their weatherheads are responsible for having the weatherhead replaced or repaired by a licensed electrician and inspected by Code Enforcement before MLGW can restore power. The weatherhead is usually located above the roofline or attached to the gable or side of the house where the customer's wiring connects to MLGW's electric lines. The weatherhead is the homeowner's property and therefore is not maintained by MLGW. An example of a weatherhead can be found in the image below:
Customers are urged to make MLGW aware of their outage by calling 1-800-268-8648. As crews work to make the biggest impact by restoring major circuits, smaller, more localized outages may go undetected. Reporting outages ensures the utility can make repairs as soon as possible.
MLGW continues to suspend disconnects and reminds customers to consider any downed wire to be dangerous and to not touch. The utility thanks customers for their patience as workers continue to restore power.
Important MLGW contact information for customers:
• Outage Reporting: 1-800-268-8648 or 544-6500
• Emergency: 528-4465 (This number should be treated like 911. Gas leaks, electrical lines down.)
• Customer Care Center: 820-7878
Generator Safety Tips
Some customers may be using generators which are a great way to back up your power, but using one can be dangerous unless you follow these important safety tips:
- Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a garage. Generators emit toxic carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust.
- A generator should only be operated in a well-ventilated and dry area, away from air intakes to the home. It should be protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.
- Do not attempt to restore power to your entire house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. The electricity produced by a generator cannot only ruin your home's wiring and start a fire, it can also feed back into the utility system and energize a line thought to be without power possibly killing utility workers trying to restore power. It can also cause damage to the generator when electric service is restored.
- Handle fuel carefully. Turn the generator off prior to refueling. Gasoline, kerosene and other flammable liquids should be stored outside of living areas in properly labeled safety containers.
- Turn off or disconnect all appliances prior to operating a portable generator. Once the generator is running, appliances powered by the generator can be turned on one at a time.
MLGW will not come out to check the generator connections. Customer must use an electrical contractor to ensure that generator is isolated from grid to eliminate backfeed.