Crews cleaning up after overnight storms throughout Mid-South; new information for those without power

Weather

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Wild weather overnight brought heavy rain and high winds to parts of the Mid-South, downing trees and leaving thousands in the dark.

About 30,000 people were without power Thursday morning. The number has dropped to more than 17,000 by about 11:00 a.m.

Among the hardest-hit areas are Whitehaven, near the airport, and parts of Bartlett.

Shelby County Emergency Management released the following information:

In the early morning hours of Thursday, June 20, weather from eastern Arkansas moved into the Memphis/Shelby County area, bringing with it wind gusts up to 69 miles per hour and heavy rain.  As a result of the storm, initially it was reported that there were 565 power outages affecting approximately 30,000 customers.  The preliminary damage assessments revealed that there were trees down throughout the city and county. Two families have been displaced due to trees down on their homes.  The Red Cross has been notified to assist.  A number of traffic lights are out.  It was reported that there were straight line winds in the Elvis Presley / Winchester area. Also, straight line winds moved through the area of midtown, Berclair, and Raleigh. 

Road Hazards

Many traffic signals are out in the Memphis area. Motorists should treat those intersections as four-way stops.

Safety Tips

  • Check daily on those who live alone.
  • Give special attention to the elderly and the disabled.

Electricity Hazards

  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • Make sure electrical systems or appliances damaged by the storm are inspected by a qualified, licensed professional.

Generator Safety

  • Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning – Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.
  • Never use grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside a home, garage, basement, or any partially enclosed area.
  • Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide (CO) buildup in the home. Although CO can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death.
  • Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY – DO NOT DELAY.

Food Safety

  • The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) reminds residents to throw out ALL refrigerated, perishable foods if power was out for more than four (4) hours. Perishable foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt) and leftovers.
  • If the freezer door remained closed, and your power was restored in less than 24 hours (or 48 hours for a full freezer), your items may be safe. Check each package of food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor. If the food still contains ice crystals or is 40° F or below, it is safe to refreeze or cook. If there are no ice crystals, you will need to cook and consume or discard the items.

Prepare for Hot Weather

If you are outside, or in your home without power, for an extended time, the Shelby County Health Department reminds residents to take the following precautions:

  • Drink 2-4 glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing when outdoors.
  • Limit your physical activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Start slowly and pick up the pace gradually.
  • Rest often in shady areas.
  • Protect yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher.
  • If you don’t have power in your home, consider visiting a shopping mall, public library, or community center to keep cool during daytime hours.

Take extra precautions with those at higher risk for developing heat related illnesses:

  • People 65 and older
  • Infants and young children
  • People who are physically ill

Watch for signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness/Fainting
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Headache/Dizziness
  • Myalgia
  • Muscle cramps

Recognize signs of Heat Stroke:

  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea

For more information, visit our website at www.staysafeshelby.us.

This information comes from MLGW about 11:45 a.m. Thursday:

Nearly 40,000 customers in Memphis and Shelby County experienced outages as a result of the storm that moved through late Wednesday night. 

Fewer than 18,000 customers are still without power.  Outages are widespread throughout Shelby County in 500 locations. Crews are still assessing damages today. This storm produced numerous individual outages which will take longer to restore. 

Today, 32 MLGW and contracted crews will be working around the clock to restore power. MLGW crews will work quickly and safely to restore services.

Important MLGW contact information for customers: 

  • Outage Reporting: 544-6500
  • Emergency: 528-4465 (This number should be treated like 911. Gas leaks, electrical lines down.)
  • Customer Care Center: 544-6549
  • Online Outage Center: mlgw.com/home/outagecenter  

Generator Safety Tips

Some customers may be using generators which are a great way to back up your power, but using one can be dangerous unless you follow these important safety tips:

  • Never use a generator indoors or in an enclosed area such as a garage. Generators emit toxic carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust. 
  • A generator should only be operated in a well-ventilated and dry area, away from air intakes to the home. It should be protected from direct exposure to rain and snow, preferably under a canopy, open shed or carport.  
  • Do not attempt to restore power to your entire house by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. The electricity produced by a generator cannot only ruin your home’s wiring and start a fire, it can also feed back into the utility system and energize a line thought to be

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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