Memphis, Shelby County in "emergency mode" for weather

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Leaders in the city of Memphis and Shelby County said Tuesday they are prepared for winter weather if it hits the Mid-South later this week.  With wintry weather expected late Wednesday night into Thursday, city and county leaders have their work cut out for them.  

Tuesday, Shelby County Mayor Joe Ford said the county is ready to act.

"We're all in emergency mode, just in case we have to go into it," he said.

Shelby County and the City of Memphis are working with the Greater Memphis Interagency Coalition for the Homeless to assist those in need of emergency shelter.

"Our main focus will be the homeless," Ford said. We're trying to make sure, over the next few days, they have a place to stay."

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton outlined some of the places that have already been able to help.

"277 were able to get housing at the Union Mission, which is 25 more than usually is the case there," he said.

Shelby County sheriff's deputies and Memphis police officers will also provide security at shelters and give rides to people who need them.

"I've instructed the police department to be on patrol constantly," Wharton said.

Wharton said the city of Memphis is also teaming up with MLGW to help temporarily restore power to the elderly, people with special needs, and those who can't afford to pay their bills.

"We're actually doing a survey right now to find out how many people may be living in a facility, apartment, or house that have the utilities terminated for failing to pay," he said.

Meanwhile, city and county leaders are urging all citizens to take the necessary precautions to stay safe and warm.  Officials also asked residents to regularly check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are out of harm's way.

For cold weather tips for your home from MLGW, click here.

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