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Tens of thousands in Memphis remain without power after three days after winter storm

Published: Feb. 5, 2022 at 10:14 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As the sun set on Saturday evening, several parts of Memphis fell into darkness, as roughly 84,000 people were still without power after Thursday’s winter storm.

Trees are still coated with ice from Thursday’s winter storm, some of those bringing down trees and power lines with them.

“We’ve been without power ever since,” said Rico Coleman.

Coleman lives on Mountain Terrace Street in Frayser, a sample size of those in the city still waiting for power to be restored.

“We got to deal with being without food, no food,” Coleman said, referring to not being able to refrigerate anything. “We’re just trying to make it off the income we got and living out of the car right now.”

You read that right.

Coleman, his mother, and their dogs sleep in the car, their only source of heat.

“The man across the street, he has to go stay with somebody else. They’re freezing there. They’re freezing there. Everybody’s freezing,” said Wandra Bruins, who lives down the street from Coleman.

Bruins, fortunately, has a gas fireplace and stove.

Her lights, though, are still out, and since the storm she’s had to take in her 75-year-old mother so she won’t freeze during the night.

“MLGW is a joke,” Bruins said. “I don’t have a cutoff note. I don’t get cutoff notes. My bill is paid in full and then some. Where is Memphis Light Gas and Water? Where are they?”

MLGW President & CEO J.T. Young updated customers on Facebook live Saturday afternoon, saying 80 crews had been working around the clock throughout the city, with ten more to be arriving Sunday.

“We are in this community,” Jones said. “We are engaged. We have a number of employees who don’t have power as well. We’re certainly making sure that we’re redoubling our efforts and putting forth all the efforts we can to bring everybody back up as safely as we can.”

For Bruins, who’s lived in Memphis since the late 70′s, this is the longest she’s ever been without power.

She said MLGW should have prepared better for this storm.

“We are just lost here,” Bruins said. “At night, it’s pitch-black dark here. We are just left out in the cold.”

MLGW’s goal for Saturday was to have roughly 25,000 customers’ power restored by midnight, going into Sunday morning.

Based on our last check of MLGW’s outage map, that would still leave around 59,000 Memphians without power.

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