MEMPHIS, TN - Try surviving this dangerous heat wave when you have no electricity. With triple-digit temperatures and a heat index of 116 degrees, you couldn't pick a worse day for the power to go out. People in one Memphis neighborhood were forced to cope Saturday.
With 16 heat-related deaths in Shelby County so far this year, this is serious business. Everyone says, stay inside, stay where it's nice and cool, but for people in some parts of town, inside or out, they were feeling the heat.
Staying inside wasn't doing people in one Frayser neighborhood any good Saturday.
“Inside is just the same temperature,” said resident Jack Bolton. “So we’re staying outside trying to keep cool.”
That's because their power's been out all day. No power, means no A/C.
“It's been out since ten,” said Bolton. “And it's like the desert out here. Humid and I'm sweating, everybody's sweating.”
“It's been very hot,” said resident Yvonne Tall. “But I've been having the kids in the pool, trying to keep them cool and everything.”
While they're trying to take the heat in stride, some people are steamed at how long it's taking MLGW to turn the lights back on.
“Some people weren't so nice, because they're taking so long, but they got to be patient,” said Tall.
“They drove by,” said Bolton. “It looks like they're just enjoying us sweating.”
We found MLGW crews at work trying to fix the problem, but as of 10 p.m. Saturday, nearly 150 people in that part of town were still without power. Neighbors say it can't come back on soon enough.
“This community will be just great as soon as they get it back on,” said Tall. “You know you can't please everyone, but I know they're trying to do their best trying to get it on.”
MLGW says it hopes to have this neighborhood's power back on by 1 or 2 a.m. Sunday. A spokesman says because of multiple problems with an underground cable, it's taking a lot longer to make repairs than expected.
MLGW wants people to know that it's not using their A/C too much that usually causes outages, it's mostly storms that shut things down. So people there say keep using your air conditioner as much as you need to.
While it may seem like we've had more outages this Summer, MLGW says it’s fixed about the same number as last year. The biggest difference: this year's record breaking temperatures.