MLGW outages leave residents in the dark during intense heat

Residents left in the dark during intense heat after MLGW outages

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A heat wave is hitting the Mid-South and residents across Shelby County are bracing for the intense heat.

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, the scorching summer heat has everyone searching for relief.

For residents in Arlington, they're conserving energy during peak hours, because a substation exploded recently. With that substation down, the energy infrastructure is working double time to keep up with demand.

Thursday night, Arlington residents lost power for several hours.

"I really hope the lights don't go out as much as it does now," Arlington resident Maricruz Cardines said.

"It just feels unbearable. That's why I'm wiping with a washcloth, just to cool off and keep it around my neck," visitor Christine Gayheart said.

The Cardines said cool temperatures are hard to find with recent power outages happening weekly.

First, a substation went out after a piece of equipment caught fire. MLGW said because of this, some neighbors in Lakeland and Arlington only receive small amounts of voltage.

Then, Thursday night MLGW said more than 2,800 customers in Cordova, Lakeland, and Arlington were left in the dark again.

"It was due to equipment failure," Gale Jones Carson, MLGW Director of Corporate Communications, said. "We had a lightning arrester that went bad, so it caused the outage. It had absolutely nothing to do with planned, mandatory blackouts."

Carson said all of the customers now have their power restored. But, the best way to prevent any scheduled rolling blackouts is to be proactive during high demand times.

"Arlington and Lakeland be very conscious of their energy consumption between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.," Carson said.

MLGW confirmed the substation should be back up in August and will hopefully restore full voltage levels for customers.


With the heat index reaching 110 degrees, the City of Memphis Office of Emergency Management implemented its hot weather plan by opening up cooling centers.

Residents can go to Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, located at 3030 Poplar Avenue, Friday, July 22 – Monday, July 25. The center will be open each day from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. It will also serve as an after-hours cooling center.

If you are looking for overnight accommodations, you are encouraged to go to The Union Mission, located at 383 Poplar Avenue, or The Salvation Army, located at 696 Jackson Avenue.

If you have any questions, or are in need of transportation assistance, call OEM at 901-636-2525.

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