MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Poor maintenance of their equipment is to blame for some of the storm damage this past month, according to the MLGW CEO.
Jarl “JT” Young and Vice President Alonzo Weaver spoke in front of City Council members about why the storms left 70,000 people without power throughout a two-week span.
“We really need to begin to make some investments in hardening our systems,” Young said. “I call that improving the resilience in our system, so that when normal storms come through so that when normal storms come through, they don’t degrade the system such that when you have a bigger system you have more catastrophic damage.”
Young said some of the damage was unavoidable because of the strong winds and trees that were knocked down. However, he said he needs more money to make the upgrades he wants for the city.
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“For the same customers that are impacted by increased cost, they’re the same customers that are impacted when we don’t have services available,” Young said.
The 2 percent increase to electric fees was implemented last week, but Young said he asked for a higher number he still thinks is valid.
“I’m trying to figure out what we need to do to sustain our system given our relatively small increase wave been given,” Young said.
Underground wiring was brought up in the meeting, but Young said it is not always a solution. He talked about situations where tree roots wrapped around wires, which caused power outages as well.
Young told FOX13 he hopes to go in front of the council again in the fall with a plan, but no decisions have been made on it at this time.
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