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MLGW News Release
 
MLGW continues restoration work: Significant progress expected this weekend
February 8, 2008
(February 8, 2008, 4:00 p.m.) MLGW continued to work to restore power to customers affected by Tuesday's storms. Although about 1,600 remained without power Friday, MLGW crews are expected to make significant progress this weekend, especially in restoring power to residential customers.

"We are working to completely rebuild our electric system in the Hickory Hill area," said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins. "Our progress is ahead of schedule and we expect to reduce our number of outages significantly this weekend."

Crews sent from Nashville, Chattanooga, Tulsa and Springfield continued to assist MLGW crews with the restoration effort.

Based on initial assessments, MLGW estimates the storm has cost $6.5 million in total expenses, including damages and overtime. That figure could rise as the recovery continues. However, MLGWs primary concerns are safety and restoring power before costs, said MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins.

Twenty-three outside crews from Nashville, Chattanooga, Springfield, Mo. and Tulsa, Okla. are aiding in restoration efforts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is assessing overall storm damage.

Generator safety:
  • Customers using generators need to be sure their house is completely disconnected from MLGW lines before using a generator to ensure the safety of our employees. MLGW will NOT come out to check the generator connections. Customers MUST use an electrical contractor to ensure that generator is isolated from grid to eliminate back feed.
  • 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 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 lineseven 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 as well as death.

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

    Call 544-6500 to report an outage. Call 528-4465 to report utility emergency.

    Important MLGW numbers:
    Outage Reporting: 544-6500
    Emergency: 528-4465
    Customer Care Center: 544-MLGW (6549)
    Customers with Internet access can download MLGWs storm preparedness brochure at www.mlgw.com/stormprep.pdf

    -Weatherhead diagram
    -Transformer diagram
    -Substations/Distribution diagram