MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Thursday, MLGW and City of Memphis crews - along with other agencies - made final preparations ahead of the risk of severe weather and heavy winds possible Friday into Saturday.
ABC 24 meteorologists said forecasts call for an Enhanced Risk Level 3 out of 5 for severe weather Friday Night into early Saturday morning, with damaging winds our primary concern, tornadoes the secondary concern.
Thursday, we saw City of Memphis Public Works trucks driving through the Bluff City, checking storm drains for any clogs with recently fallen leaves, and clearing drains as needed.
A city spokesperson said crews also inspected inlets and checked other essential areas to help minimize the potential for street flooding and standing water in lower lying areas if drainage systems are overwhelmed.
That spokesperson also reminded the public, if they have any in front of their property, to make sure their storm drains are clear of leaves and debris and to not put loose trash or debris in the street next to the curb or near drains.
The city's storm equipment and personnel will be on standby to respond to flooding-related emergencies.
As for MLGW, spokesperson Gale Jones Carson said Thursday: "When there is an announcement that there is going to be a major storm coming through, we man up, woman up, and we have crews on standby. We will have people ready to work 24/7 to make sure that our customers services will be restored quickly and safely. Our staff will be working 16-hour shifts. We are always ready and we will be ready if it hits Memphis and Shelby County."
Carson also offered this advice.
"They may possibly cause trees to fall, limbs to fall, some holiday lights they made, you know, may get shaken also, so we are asking our customers to be cognizant of these winds that may hit, if there is anything they can move out of the winds path - to please consider doing that in order to keep themselves safe and if possible, avoid any outages."
Reps from Tennessee Department of Transportation and Shelby County Homeland Security/Emergency Management said they are also closely monitoring the forecasts from the National Weather Service Memphis office.
Motorists should not drive through standing water, near downed trees or utility lines, or around road closure barricades.
To report power outages, please call MLGW at 901-544-6500.
To report downed trees, please call 311.
To report downed trees after-hours contact OEM at 901-636-2525.