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MLGW News Release
MLGW Continues Restoration Efforts: Full restoration expected by end of day Friday
April 4, 2011
(April 4, 2011 - 5pm update) - MLGW crews are already making progress in restoring power to customers affected by today's storm. Power has been restored to about 18,000 customers thus far, bringing the current total to 50,000 customers remaining without power. The storm's high winds caused numerous downed power lines and trees. Due to this extensive damage, it could take up to four days for all customers to be restored, though most of the affected customers can expect to have power restored before then.

MLGW crews are working 16-hour shifts in an effort to restore power, and approximately 90 MLGW crews are currently in the field performing troubleshooting, tree trimming and pole and line repairs. In addition, at least 15 additional outside crews from Illinois, Missouri, and Tennessee are en route to join MLGW's workforce, with more possibly on the way. MLGW's Customer Care Center will also be open overnight to assist customers.

For now, MLGW's first priority for restoration is to restore all critical care facilities such as water pumping stations, hospitals and nursing homes. Restoration priority is then given to those repairs that will bring on the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time.

"Today's storms did tremendous damage to Shelby County and elsewhere in the Mid-South," said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins Jr. "I want to assure our customers that MLGW will work around the clock until all power is restored."

Important MLGW contact information for customers:

  • Outage Reporting: 544-6500
  • Emergency: 528-4465
  • Customer Care Center: 544-MLGW (6549)
  • (customers can get additional information about outages and other utility related subjects through Twitter, but still must report their outage at 544-6500 for it to be entered into MLGW's system).

    MLGW is reinforcing the need for safety around downed power lines and other potential hazards as Memphis and Shelby County residents begin debris removal from businesses and homes.

    MLGW urges customers to be aware of their surroundings as they sift through debris. Customers should avoid contact with downed power lines-even if their home or area has experienced a loss of power the lines could still be energized. Also, if they are not careful, it is possible for the body to become a conduit for an electrical current, which could result in serious injury or death.

    Customers should report any downed lines to MLGW's emergency hotline at 528-4465.

    Customers are also asked to avoid the immediate area where MLGW crews are working. These work sites can be extremely hazardous.

    Generator 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.
  • 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, but 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 is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 423,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County.