Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Ice Storm '94

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the now infamous February 1994 ice storm. The Weather Channel listed it among the top ten worst ice storms in the history of the country. It impacted 11 states: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The ice storm caused $3 billion worth of damage. It raged from February 9th through the 13th, pummeling Memphis February 11.

During that severe weather event approximately 250,000 people were without power, some for as long as 17 days. The weight of the ice brought down both trees and power poles. 146 circuits were off and miles of primary and secondary wires were down. The event activated MLGW's disaster response plan with crews working 16-hour days to restore power. At the time, the Division was 55 years old.

In the February 25, 1994 edition of the Division Digest then President and CEO Bill Crawford said:

"Many have praised our efforts, and there have also been rumors and much criticism. Certainly no one denies that there will be areas of improvement as we look back on the greatest natural disaster in the history of the company. However, there is one area in which we are certain that the correct actions were taken, and that is on the part of employees." 


Investments in the utility's infrastructure would help cut down on the number and duration of outages we experience in severe weather events like the '94 ice storm. Most of the infrastructure is between 40 and 80 years old and needs updating. MLGW has proposed a rate increase to cover those costs. We know you have questions about the proposal -- that's why MLGW is hosting in-person, town hall meetings the week of February 11 to February 15. Come to a town hall meeting near you to have your concerns addressed in person or join President & CEO J.T. Young on Facebook Live Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 1:00 p.m.


Monday, February 11, 2019

Introducing #SheCanStem



MLGW has 2770 employees; 752 (27%) are women. Of the 752 women, 143 (19%) hold STEM positions. On the first Tuesday of every month, beginning March 2019, we will be introducing you to different women working in STEM at MLGW.  

February 11th was declared International Day of Women and Girls in Science by the United Nations General Assembly. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science

The chart below provides a good overview of the current state of Women and Girls in regards to K-12 Education, Higher Education, and the STEM Workforce in the United States.



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Dollar Store DIY Energy Saving Tips

If you haven't been to an MLGW energy-savings workshop, you are missing out on some great ideas. Beverly Perkins, the supervisor for Corporate Social Responsibility, is great at what she does: helping customers save energy and money.

Some of her tips are pretty common sense: set your thermostat at 68͒ in the winter, add blankets to your bed in cold weather, and wear socks walking around the house.

But there's more! Beverly has DIY (Do It Yourself) ways to weatherize your home on the cheap. Like Dollar Tree and Walmart cheap.

That's Beverly. Under the arrows, addressing the crowd. 


















1. DUCT TAPE -- Duct tape the cracks and gaps around windows and doors. Stuff old, plastic grocery bags or bubble wrap into the cracks first - they'll act as insulation. Once you've stuffed it's time to seal. Seal your insulation job with duct tape. It's not pretty but it will work. Duct tape is a Dollar Tree get.

2. LED LIGHTS -- As your light bulbs burn out replace them with LED bulbs. LED bulbs last longer than CFL bulbs (CFL's are the squiggly compact florescent ones) and are usually brighter. Plus, you can find LED bulbs at Dollar Tree. For real.

3. PANTYHOSE & PAPER -- Block drafts with old pantyhose and two rolls of wrapping paper. Easy-to-find dollar store items. Here's how:

Billie Jean Miller said she's been to these workshops before
and the pantyhose/wrapping paper trick was a great tip.
1. Cut one leg off the pantyhose.
2. Add both rolls of wrapping paper.
3. Pull the rolls of paper in opposite directions as you slide the whole contraption under a drafty door. The idea is to have one roll on the outside of the door, the other roll on the inside. The pantyhose secures them against the door and since they'll roll, you don't have to move them out of the way when you want to go someplace. 









Images are just so you know what the kits look like.
We don't recommend one brand over another.
4. SOCKET SEALERS -- There's a chance you're losing heat around wall sockets as well. Cup your hand over an outlet in your home..do you feel a draft? If so, you want to pick up a pack of "socket sealers" at Walmart. They're made of fire retardant plastic and fit between the face plate and your wall. When installed correctly you cannot even see them.

5. WINDOW INSULATION -- Aldi and Walmart both sell window insulation kits that come with the plastic sheets and tape you need to cover your windows and block drafts. Using a hair dryer or heat gun (not included in kit) will help shrink the plastic to your windows giving you a tighter, better looking fit.

6. BLACKOUT CURTAINS -- Also at Walmart...energy-saving blackout curtains. Curtain panels cost between $9 and $11 and will help block drafts in the wintertime. The bigger benefit is during summer when the black out curtains help block the sun and keep rooms cool.

That's just six ways to save energy in your home - there are many more! Visit us online for energy-saving tools. Even better; come to the next MLGW weatherization workshop. Follow us to find out about upcoming events.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Plus-1 by the Numbers


Program Overview


Plus-1 was created in 1982 and is a partnership between MIFA and MLGW that provides one time utility assistance for individuals and families in financial crisis, such as job loss or medical emergency. MLGW collects Plus-1 funds, and MIFA screens clients for eligibility and priority. MLGW customers fund the program through one time donations or by adding a dollar or  more to their utility bills each month.

Presidents Sally Heinz (MIFA) & JT Young (MLGW)


FY 2018 Service Numbers

I985 households received utility assistance through the Plus-1 program.

Unit Cost

On average, families received $246 in Plus-1 assistance.

Impact

89.91% of sampled clients still had active utility connections three months after receiving assistance, and 83.33% were still connected after six months.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Overhead Lines Precautions

Electrocution refers to the injury or lethal dose of electrical energy. Electricity can also cause forceful muscle contraction or falls. The severity of injury depends on the amount of current flowing through the body, the current's path through the body, the length of time the body remains in the circuit and the current's frequency.



Assume that all overhead wires are energized at lethal voltages. Never assume that a wire is safe to touch even if it is down or appears to be insulated.

Never touch a fallen overhead power line. 

Stay at least 10 feet (3 meters) away from overhead wires during cleanup and other activities. If working at heights or handling long objects, survey the area before starting work for the presence of overhead wires.

If an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle. Warn people not to touch the vehicle or the wire.

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