Weekly Update


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Having been all over our city since the storm arrived late Saturday night, I saw quite a bit.

I saw trees lifted up by their roots in Frayser. I saw entire streets blocked by fallen trees in Midtown. I met with people whose power had been out for days, and they’re frustrated. I saw cars crushed, tree limbs scattered, and too many street signals out to count. (Remember, those are four-way stops!)

And here's something I saw everywhere: Memphians coming together to help fellow Memphians. Yes, I’m proud of the hard work of our employees and MLGW employees, and I’ll continue to brag on them. But I’m also so proud of the spirit of our city, and the ways we all came together.

I saw Pastor Charlie Caswell, his church and MPD Officer Dominique McCraven serve their neighbors in Frayser. I saw volunteers working to comfort those in need at the emergency shelter in Orange Mound. I saw Rodney Wakefield of our Public Works team putting in long hours. I could keep going and going, but you get the point -- probably because you have your own story of experiencing our city’s warmth, too.

This week is Memphis. This spirit is what defines us. I’ve always said that Memphians are what I love most about Memphis. After this week, I believe that even more.  

Summing up the recovery effort: Here are a few quick facts about the week:

  • By Thursday, MLGW had 97 out-of-town overhead crews aiding restoration -- a full 27 more than even the peak day of the Hurricane Elvis recovery.
  • As of this writing, about 19,000 MLGW customers are without power -- down from 188,000 at the outage's peak. This is the third-largest power outage in Shelby County history.
  • We’ve had more than 500 reports of trees in streets. As of last check, Public Works has cleared all but 85 of them. We'll have 15 crews working this weekend.
  • The preliminary estimate of costs and damages to city government is just under $10 million. This is part of our application for federal disaster assistance. That’s a term that could use some explanation; we provided that explanation here.

Congratulations, Mt. Vernon Baptist: I recently had the honor of attending the 115th anniversary celebration at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church -- home of Rev. James Netters. That's where I also ran into legendary LeMoyne-Owen basketball coach Jerry Johnson, and here’s a photo we took:

115th anniversary 

Keep in touch: We’ve prioritized constant communication throughout this week, and we’ll be sharing more about the storm recovery effort as it progresses. I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get those real-time updates.


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