Impacts of the Ice Storm on the Mid-South

MID-SOUTH — An ice storm tore through the Mid-South Thursday, leaving roads treacherous, trees down and widespread power outages.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland declared a state of emergency as it related to severe weather impacting the City of Memphis.

Power outages, brought on by icy power lines and fallen trees, were the main issue in Shelby County.

If you live in Memphis or Shelby County, there are some very important phone numbers to help you get through what’s left of this ice storm.

If you are an MLGW customer and your power is out, you need to report it. Do not assume they know. That number is (901) 544-6500

There is a warming center open Thursday night at the Hickory Hill Community Center at 3910 Ridgeway Road. If you need a ride, call MATA at (901) 297-1608.

And if you see a tree down in a public right of way in the City of Memphis, which means on the street, call the Memphis Office of Emergency Management at (901) 636-2525.

PHOTOS: Damage from across the area as the ice storm moves through


At their peak, Memphis Lights Gas and Water reported over 137,000 customers without power, making up for more than 30 percent of their customer base. Contractors worked 16-hour shifts trying to resolve the widespread outages, though MLGW warned that it could be days before some outages are repaired.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland declared a state of emergency due to the severe weather.

One of those power outages impacted a warming center the City of Memphis hoped to open for those needing shelter during the frigid conditions.

The center was planned to be at the Marion Hale Community Center but got moved to the Hickory Hill Community Center due to power issues.

A transformer apparently blew in South Cooper-Young causing a frightening fire for FOX13 viewers Marco Carbo and Carl Green. Warning, the following video contains graphic language.

A handful of traffic lights in Germantown lost power, according to the Germantown Police Department. Those intersections included four traffic lights on South Germantown Rd., two on Hacks Cross Rd. and two on Poplar Pike. Trees continued to fall in Germantown into the night.

An iced-down tree fell on live power lines on Shelby Drive, causing MLGW and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to team up in an effort to clear the scene.


That was just one of at least 200 trees to fall around Shelby County. A downed tree laid across Walnut Grove Rd. just off of South Highland. An entire tree split in half on Kimball in Orange Mound. A massive tree fell across the road on Cooper near Overton Square. A whole tree broke away from the ground, falling on a house near Ford Road Elementary. A large tree fell onto two homes at Park and Brower St. in East Memphis. A pickup truck was demolished by a tree off Brooks Rd.

Numerous crashes occurred on Shelby County roadways, including a jackknifed 18-wheeler that was heading into Arkansas on the I-40 Bridge. Traffic shut down on the bridge for some time before one lane was reopened, allowing traffic to crawl across the Mississippi River.

Another massive crash that happened took place on Austin Peay Hwy where 15 cars crashed near James Rd. MFD said at least 6 people were taken to local hospitals from that scene, including 3 people to Regional One Hospital.


In DeSoto County, over 4,600 people were without power Thursday afternoon, according to Northcentral Electric Cooperative. Lines went down in at least 20 locations and broke 6 poles in the service area, the company reported.

DeSoto County Emergency Services said that they expect those icy conditions to continue overnight and black ice to form on roadways.

Some of those power outages in DeSoto County affected traffic lights in Southaven, according to the Southaven Police Department.

While light went out around the county, ice formed on DeSoto County roadways. Officials reported ice on the I-55 and 269 bridges and overpasses. Trees fell in the area of Acree Lane and Hamilton Circle Drive.


Nearly 9,000 people across the state were without power as of 7 p.m. Thursday night, according to the Arkansas Division of Emergency Management.

Crews in West Memphis worked hard clearing wrecks off of the interstates as vehicles big and small slipped on the icy roads.

Multiple 18-wheelers crashed on interstates heading into Arkansas throughout the day, blocking traffic and leaving debris to mix with the ice on the roadways.

Roads in Cross County, Arkansas were hit even harder. According to the Cross County Sheriff’s Office, ice totally covered SH 1 and US 64 East and West and all secondary roads were basically impassable. The sheriff’s office expected black ice to form overnight as temperatures remain below freezing.


Dyer County was hit extremely hard.

Ice quickly built up on roads and bridges in Dyer County. Deputies responded to many accidents and the sheriff’s office urged people to limit unnecessary travel.

FOX13 is tracking the ice and winter weather conditions LIVE throughout Good Morning Memphis. Stay with us for the latest updates.