MEMPHIS, Tennessee — As rescue and cleanup efforts continue along the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Ida’s landfall, emergency crews in the Mid-South are bracing for heavy rain. Memphis Light, Gas, and Water outlined what they’re doing to assist residents.
It is a state of uncertainty as the effects of Hurricane Ida makes its way inland.
“Until we get hit, we won’t know what will be hit,” said Gale Jones Carson, MLGW Community and External Affairs Vice President.
Here in the Mid-South, MLGW and the City of Memphis Public Works Department are bracing for the worst.
“We don’t know if we’re going to get or how hard we’re going to get hit, but we’re prepared,” said Jones Carson.
She said crews have been on standby.
“We have 20 crews, 52 contract tree trimming crews, six outside crews,” said Jones Carson.
On the Public Works side, Director Robert Knecht said crews will work 24/7 rotating shifts.
“We have a list of prioritized locations located across the state. Our list is large, 325 square miles. We have about 40,000 drainage inlets in the streets that help remove storm water from the street. Some of these areas are problematic areas mainly under railroad bridges and underpasses,” said Knecht.
One area of concern is Union Avenue and Parkway. It is one of about 30 locations considered a hot spot for drainage issues and flooding. Crews have already gone through areas like Union and Parkway clearing debris from roads and drains.
“Then, we’ll start responding to flooding calls. Citizens can help us by removing any debris or contacting 311 if they don’t want to do them themselves. Never drive through standing water because you never know how deep it is. Turn around, don’t drown,” said Knecht.
“Please do not go near any lines that are down. You need to call MLGW as soon as possible,” said Jones Carson.
In the event you lose power, there are some items you should keep handy.
“They should have bottled water, hand and packaged food that don’t require heating, powdered milk, prescription medicine, battery operated flashlight, radio and alarm clock,” said Jones Carson.
As far as sending crews to the Gulf Coast to help with hurricane relief, MLGW said first they will see what the storm does here in case all crews are needed.
“Right now, we cannot release any of our crews until we know we need them. If we get hit by the storm, we’re going to need all crews. If it’s a light hit, believe me, we’re going to be more than happy to go down there and help them,” said Jones Carson.
If you do come across any downed lines, you can call (901) 528-4465. For power outages, residents can call (901) 522-6500.