MLGW customer faces cutoff amid cold snap

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A South Memphis woman claims MLGW left her out in the cold. Now, she's learning a harsh lesson about the utility's winter weather policy.

Delores Christopher's home is filled with the hum of a small space heater, and the little heat it puts out. MLGW came to her home early Tuesday morning.

"They didn't get the lights or the water, but they cut my gas off," said Christopher.

Gas is her primary source of warmth.

"It's going to get 25 tonight. Tomorrow night it's going to be 9 or 10," said Christopher. "So, what are people supposed to do?" she added.

Christopher showed us her bill.

"$449.64," she said as she read it.

$250 would be needed to fully restore her utilities.

"And I won't have that until the middle of the month," said Christopher.

She thought impending wintry weather may have kept MLGW from cutting her off. But that's not how it works.

According to the utility's Customer Care Policy Manual, cut-offs cease in the winter only when the forecast wind chill factor does not exceed 33 degrees Fahrenheit or greater for four or more hours in a 24-hour period on the day of the scheduled disconnect.

A spokesperson said that's a day-to-day determination during the winter. Unfortunately, for customers like Christopher, utilities cut-off when the weather is technically warm enough are not restored when temperatures plummet.

"I'm broke, the holidays are over with, so I don't know what to do," said Christopher.

MLGW works with customers to pay off their bills, and has a moratorium specifically for seniors. Learn more by reading the customer care policy here.

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