With ice storm moving across the Mid-South, MLGW prepared for potential impact

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Light Gas and Water said crews are ready to roll out and deal with the impacts of this week’s severe weather.

The challenges could include downed power lines, tree damage and travel difficulties as the roads grow icier.

Some Memphians learned their lesson during December’s winter storm and were already bracing for the cold and potential power outages.

Many said their biggest fear is that the Tenessee Valley Authority will once again issue rolling blackout orders.

“At this point, I can’t do anything but be ready and prepared,” Tina Marshall said. “Just stay prayed up and hope that it doesn’t hit me.”

Marshall said she remembers the power shutting off after the rolling blackouts began, then staying off for another day.

“At that moment, all I could do was bundle up, cover with blankets and extra clothing and socks,” she said.

In December, the TVA issued rolling blackout orders for the first time in the agency’s history after demand for power outpaced the supply. According to MLGW, most substations could be powered back on remotely, but some could not. That meant people in some areas were left without power for much longer than the intended 30 minutes.

“The refrigerator went out and stuff like that,” Sylvia Curtis said. “It starts to melt and you’ve got this water running and ice cream. It’s sour, all that type of stuff going on. It’s just not good at all.”

Rolling blackouts are far from the only reasons the region could see blackouts in the coming days. Ice could accumulate on lines and bring them down, ice could accumulate on trees and cause them to collapse on lines and drivers could slide into power poles, knocking them out.

“It was horrible going home that night,” Marshall said. “I was afraid, I was scared, then like halfway home, someone flew past me and started spinning out and cars started hitting him. So yeah, it’s very terrifying to me.”

People told FOX13 they are prepared to bundle up at home under a blanket, put on some extra socks and ride out the cold.

One woman told FOX13 she stocked up on groceries in case she can’t travel the roads safely, and plans to cook in the gas fireplace if her home loses power.

“That’s what I cook during the winter, chili or soup. It just kind of sticks to your bones,” Jacqueline Yates said. “I guess I could just put some in, use that gas fireplace.”

An MLGW spokesperson said extra crews are on standby and trucks have been prepped to respond to outages.