MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - With the threat of severe weather imminent, the city of Memphis and MLGW said they are ready to respond at a moment’s notice. City crews did some prep work Friday ahead of the storm.
MLGW officials said they are very focused on the storm threat. If winds hit the 60 to 70 mile an hour mark, they said it’s almost a given there will be outages because of trees down and damage to their equipment.
“Every team that we will possibly need are on standby. We are calling in additional crews for trees,” said Gale Jones-Carson with MLGW.
MLGW said they have personnel ready to come in if the winds have their way with trees and power lines in Shelby County overnight. If you lose power, the utility said you need to call and report it and never assume that they know. The restoration process starts once MLGW troubleshooters have identified what needs to be fixed.
MLGW also has out-of-state utility crews on standby to be called in.
“What we try to do is work to get as many customers on as possible at one time,” said Jones-Carson, “We want our customers to be patient. We understand nobody wants to be without power, and we will be doing everything we can to get our customers on quickly and safely.”
Public works employees with the City of Memphis made the rounds Friday checking storm drains and making sure they are clear in preparation for the torrential rain expected. Stopped-up storm water drains can contribute to flash-flooding on streets. The city advises residents to check storm drains around your home to ensure water can pass through.
Securing items outside your home is also recommended.
“If we are talking 60 to 70 mile per hour wind gusts that can move a lot of different material,” said Robert Knecht, Public Works Director, “Securing your property, anything that’s loose, it could be blown into your neighbor or windows. Anything like that is a good practice to make sure you’re prepared.”
The city’s last big storm event came in late October when a morning EF-1 tornado touched down carving a 7 mile path of damage among homes and businesses from the airport area to I-240 and 385 including Parkway Village and the Balmoral neighborhood. That storm damaged the Cottonwood Apartments so bad they had to close.
Tornadoes are a threat Saturday morning along with extreme winds and heavy rain.
MLGW expects more outages in areas of the county that have more trees.