Wednesday, April 27, 2011

6:30am Update

As of 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday, MLGW has restored power to more than 26,000 of the 45,000 customers affected by Tuesday night's storms. The most significant damage to MLGW's system has been from downed trees, lines, and poles. Damage is widespread across the county, with particularly heavy damage in Midtown, Frayser, and Raleigh. MLGW troubleshooters have managed to restore power to a number of circuits resulting in the restoration numbers above; however, the continued lightning and additional inclement weather has not allowed for safe working conditions for MLGW crews to this point. Full deployment of MLGW crews will take place later this morning though additional inclement weather could slow these efforts. MLGW has already requested 20 out of town crews to assist with the restoration. More could be called in if the subsequent storms bring additional damages.

The work of MLGW employees has not gone unnoticed by Memphis Mayor AC Wharton Jr. "Get the word out that I am aware of and fully appreciative of the untiring labors of our excellent MLGW team!" said Wharton in an e-mail early this morning to MLGW President and CEO Jerry Collins Jr.

MLGW first addresses safety issues such as downed power lines, then moves to repair transmission lines and towers that provide power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to MLGW substations. The early portion of the restoration process focuses on substations, circuits that represent larger groups of customers, and critical facilities such as water pumping stations, hospitals, and other essential facilities. Essentially, MLGW crews start with the transmission lines and substations, and work their way down the system to the individual customers.

The areas with the heaviest damage have the longest restoration times. With storms such as those we've seen in April thus far, restoration involves multiple MLGW crews performing repairs. For example, an MLGW troubleshooter may be sent out to analyze a problem. If the problem is simple, the troubleshooter may be able to repair it on the spot. However, for a restoration process like this one, with heavy damages, a troubleshooter needs to call in tree trimmers and overhead crews to clear an area. Once the tree trimmers complete their task, an overhead line crew might be necessary to repair or replace poles or lines.

MLGW customers are asked to call 544-6500 to report outages and 528-4465 to report emergencies such as downed power lines. MLGW will also provide updates via Twitter ( and Facebook (www.facebook/mlgw1) beginning at 7 a.m.

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