Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division, assisted by an unprecedented 101 contract overhead crews and 78 tree trimming crews, completed restoration to all 188,000 customers who lost power in the aftermath of the Saturday, May 27 windstorm.
The utility estimates the restoration efforts will cost $15.1 million. MLGW crews worked around the clock to restore power. Contract crews from East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Ohio joined the restoration effort starting on May 30. Those crews have been released and are returning home. The utility will now focus on repairing street light infrastructure that was damaged, disposal of materials and filing for FEMA reimbursement.
“We appreciate the patience of our customers and are grateful for our employees and contract crews who’ve worked tirelessly for the last ten days,” said Jerry R. Collins, Jr., MLGW President and CEO
The utility is also looking at ways to lessen the impact of future storms. “We can’t control the weather. However, once smart meters are fully deployed and more automated switches are installed, MLGW will be able to respond faster when there are major service interruptions like the one we just experienced,” he said.
Automated or smart switches allow utilities to remotely control, monitor, and regulate their distribution systems.
MLGW is the largest three-service public power utility in the nation, serving more than 420,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County with some of the lowest combined rates in the U.S.