MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Memphis Gas Light and Water has restoration crews on standby when Isaac arrives in the Mid-South. The power company has made big improvements to their operation since Hurricane Elvis in July of 2003. MLGW says it’s more prepared to handle power restoration by strengthening mutual aid agreements and communication technology.
Glen Thomas with MLGW Corporate Communications says, “We now have social media as a way of outage communication. We have many ways to communicate to our customers what's going on in the restoration process.”
The power restoration process remains the same in every severe weather event. MLGW focuses initial restoration efforts on critical facilities like hospitals and police stations before residential areas. Power crews will work on circuits and sub-stations that will turn power on to the most customers
“We try to get the most customers up in the shortest amount of time," says Thomas. “Every outage situation is different. If you have downed poles, it’s going to take longer.”
MLGW does have a crisis management team, but there are several factors to be considered before they will activate.
Callen Hays, MLGW Crisis Management Coordinator, says, “There are several rigger points in our Emergency Response Plan. If we have twelve circuits off, or a sub-station that’s down for more than 24 hours with a load that is non-transferable, or if we need help from mutual aid, that’s when we would call for crisis team assembly. There are variables of damage to consider as well.”
MLGW is Tennessee Valley Authority’s largest power provider. Outside power companies have traveled to the Mid-South to help with power restoration. Mutual aid agreements also allow MLGW crews to travel to other locations to assist in power restoration. So far, no MLGW crews have been requested to help along the Gulf Coast.