MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – When you have 30% of MLGW customers without power and in sub-zero temperatures, it’s a mad dash to find a warm place to sleep tonight.
Kevin Patel, general manager of Country Inn Suites in Cordova, said all 100 rooms at the hotel were booked Thursday afternoon.
“We had to turn down hundreds of phone calls like people were just calling to get a room, any room as long as they could get a heated room, and unfortunately we had to tell them no,” Patel said. .
Almost all hotels in the Memphis area were full late Thursday night, sending people across the river to west Memphis to find a warm bed.
A hotel guest was lucky enough to get the last room available at this Cordoba hotel.
“They were like something was wrong with the bathroom! I said I don’t care, I’ll take it,’ she said.
She told Action News 5 she lives in Bartlett and was like the more than 130,000 MLGW customers without power on Thursday.
Many held out hope that their power would return before sunset.
Collapsed, icy power lines can be found throughout the city, and tree branches under pressure have fallen onto power lines.
“We just ask people to be patient, I know it’s difficult because it’s very cold but we work, the employees work 16 hours a day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So we do all we can,” said MLGW Vice President of Community and External Affairs Gale Carson.
Carson says they have 50 crew, tree trimmers and contract workers working around the clock, but they say it will likely be days before power is fully restored to everyone.
“The storm is expected to last at least 3 more days, the temperature is dropping, the ice is not going away until it goes above freezing, so we are talking about at least tomorrow Saturday and Sunday with these type of temperatures and the ice is not there. it’s not going to melt until we get past the freezing point,” Carson said.
Carson says priority will be given to places like hospitals and nursing homes, and then workers will focus on the hardest hit areas.
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