Memphis families still without power after Wednesday’s storm

Thousands of families still have no power

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Over 2,000 Memphis families are still without power two days after a storm moved through the Mid-South.

Meanwhile, the heat index has reached 104 degrees.

For those customers still waiting on power restoration, their patience in this heat is wearing thin.

Some are using generators to power their homes.

Four cooling centers like the Lewis Senior Center are open as an option to beat the heat.

“It was really quiet. We didn’t have tree limbs down or anything like that so I kind of thought it would be back in 20 or 30 minutes, maybe in the morning,” said Ruth Bland.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case for Ruth Bland and her fiancé at their Berclair home.

Cool air was finally blowing out of their vents 36 hours later when crews restored power to their area.

However, it wasn’t before the food in their refrigerator spoiled, and they slept through unbearably hot nights.

"We toughed it out. We ate out. Packed ice as much as we could and were never so glad to go to work in the air conditioning,” said Bland.

Dozens of MLGW crews were spread out across the city Friday working to get lights and the air conditioning back on from a storm that knocked out power to nearly 40,000 customers.

“Our crews have been working around the clock including some outside crews we brought in,” said J.T. Young, MLGW president. “We know it’s a hot day. We are doing all we can to get everything back on.”

It’s a constant battle for the energy company as it continues to patch old equipment in desperate need of replacement and not just repairs.

“This is a perpetual issue that city seems to perpetually ignore,” said Bland.

In February, Memphis City Council members declined to raise electric rates for infrastructure improvements. They said they wanted more study on potential cost savings.

MLGW hopes to fully restore power by Saturday.

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