VOL. 10 | NO. 22 | Saturday, May 27, 2017
Storm Damage Leaves 180,000 Without Power, Restoration More than A Week
By Bill Dries
It will probably take more than a week to fully restore power across the city in the wake of a Saturday evening storm that raked Memphis with a sudden burst of straight-line winds followed by rain.
That was the initial assessment Sunday, May 28, of Memphis Light Gas and Water Division president Jerry Collins.
“It’s probably the third biggest power outage event in the history of Shelby County,” Collins said, adding that 188,000 homes and businesses were without power initially. By 11 a.m. that number was down to 150,000.
The utility had already brought in 40 crews from out of town to help restore power at that point.
The storm front starting with high winds moved into Memphis just before 11 p.m. Saturday just hours after the final Memphis In May International Festival event had ended with fireworks in Tom Lee Park.
The winds toppled and shattered the obelisk in the park honoring Tom Lee. The monument was toppled once before on July 22, 2003 in the storm that became known as Hurricane Elvis. In that instance, the monument toppled in several large pieces. In Saturday’s storm, the monument’s sections appeared to be broken into many smaller pieces.
Officials with the Shelby County Office of Preparedness were to provide a briefing at 1 p.m. on a countywide survey of storm damage.
Watch this web story for updated information.