Power slowly being restored to residents, businesses in Shelby County

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Thousands are still without power after storms ripped through the Mid-South Saturday night.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water said it may take at least a week for full restoration. That means residents and businesses are slowly having their power restored.

"It's getting hot. We need power," Ernest Lane said.

Lane lost power when 90 mph winds blew through his Hollywood neighborhood late Saturday night. The winds snapped a power pole in half and he's been without power since then.

"Some food got lost, just had to hold the family together," Lane said.

MLGW is working continuously to restore power for residents. At least 70 out-of-town crews have committed to assist in power restoration. In total, MLGW has over 100 crews of various types working on restoration.

There are many intersections with traffic signal outages. The intersection of Jackson Avenue and McLean Boulevard will be out for quite some time because it needs to be rebuilt.

For an estimated time when your power will be restored, click here.

Downed trees and power lines still block many areas of Memphis. Some roads in the unincorporated area near Fisherville are blocked by downed trees and wires.

Memphis Public Works crews are working to clear trees and debris throughout the city. Crews received 230 calls about downed trees.

U of M closings, openings

The University of Memphis will be open for normal business hours on Tuesday, May 30. However, due to the power outages from recent storms, the following buildings will be closed temporarily:

  • Community Health Building on the Park Avenue Campus
  • All Athletic Facilities on the Park Avenue Campus
  • Building One (1) on the Park Avenue Campus
  • Building 29 on the Park Avenue Campus

Classes at the Community Health Building, including the Loewenberg College of Nursing and the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, are canceled for Tuesday.

Employees affected by the closing of these buildings should contact their supervisors to determine if they are to report to an alternate building or work remotely.

Residents thankful for MLGW response

"I'm grateful that they're coming out and they doing their job and they on their business like they're supposed to be," Lane said.

Over 70 MLGW crews have been called in from East Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Ohio to help restore power.

"Man, it's great to see them. I'm telling you, they're good," Pamela Finnie said. "We all got to be patient."

Finnie said she had a message for everyone without power.

"Everybody without their power, just keep your head up and just know that Memphis, Light, Gas and Water--they're coming. They're out here working as I can see," she said.

Community responds to help

Union Grove Baptist Church in Frayser said they are a community church and the neighbors are coming together to help each other.

"God sent us here to serve and that's what we are trying to be," Grove Baptist Church Pastor Charlie Caswell said. "Be the servants that we are called to be and this is the time for action."

With storm damage and destruction all around, the residents provided some relief in Frayser.

"When the tree was uprooted," Warren Cole said. "It just crashed, a huge crash."

Even though power has been out at the church, it didn't stop Caswell and a group of volunteers from serving the community.

"We found a lot of our seniors just blocked in their homes, scared to leave their homes, not wanting anything to happen," Caswell said.

He said they used social media to spread the word about the need for donations.

"The call just putting it out on Facebook, the number of people have been calling from 2 to 3 in the morning saying 'hey, ya'll come by our house and help us in some kind of way,'" Caswell said.

Volunteers arrived Monday with pounds of food to grill and take door-to-door. They are also planning to pass out ice, bottled water, and flashlights.

Caswell said with power expected to be out at least a week, any and all donations are welcomed.

"We are just asking all the churches to come together, set up stations around the community, and let's feed our families and be there for them," Caswell said.

Parkway Village damage

Residents in Parkway Village suffered some damage Saturday night during the storm as well. Wires tangled with branches, downed trees, and lots of damage left behind from the storm.

"It was like God's hands stopped it right there," Kandace Hamilton said.

She said her family rushed to safety during Saturday's storm and heard a loud crash on the roof.

"We went outside, me and my brother, oh my gosh. The tree just fell, but we didn't get a chance to see all of the tree," Hamilton said.

When daylight came, the family saw branches stretching across the street and a light pole underneath the rubble.

Thankfully, Hamilton's home only had minor damage.

"If it leaned all the way over, we probably wouldn't be here," she said.

Now, the damage is posing another problem.

Drivers speeding around a curve barely have enough time to register there's no way through the area.

"We have to stop, wave them down, and they have to stop. They will like stop on their tires because they can't see it," Hamilton said.

Residents said they hope crews arrive with reflective cones before sunset, otherwise it could be an accident waiting to happen.

Whitehaven damage

Whitehaven residents chopped down many aging trees after the winter storm in 1994 knocked out power to the city.

"Over the last four years, they have all been chopped down," one resident said.

But not all of them have been chopped down, and Saturday's storm uprooted some of those that were left.

"That makes us vulnerable when you have so many storms," one resident said.

Vivann Malone said she's been without power since the storm.

"That tree, it looked like it just pulled up. It just hit the power lines two or three times," Malone said.

Resources

To report downed trees in your area, call the Office of Emergency Management at 901.636.2525.

For a list of resources available during this power outage, click here.

If you're without power, you can watch our newscasts online here.

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