Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trees Cleared, More Power Restored, Possible Federal Assistance to Come

Posted By on Wed, May 31, 2017 at 1:24 PM

click to enlarge CITY OF MEMPHIS
  • City of Memphis
Overnight the City's Public Works teams continued to make a dent in clearing the 481 reported trees down in the city's streets.

Over half of those trees have been cleared as of this morning and more than 20 crews continue to work throughout the day, according to Mayor Jim Strickland.

Meanwhile, Memphis Light, Gas, and Water (MLGW) crews have cut the number of customers without power— 188,000 at its peak— down to about 44,000.

The utility says they will now begin tackling smaller outages, which require more intensive work, and unfortunately, can take more time to repair in some instances.

MLGW officials maintain that full restoration will take up to a week.

Regarding whether or not the City, as well as individuals, will receive federal assistance, Mayor Strickland says Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has declared a state of emergency and the City is working on adding up the preliminary cost of damages associated with Saturday night's storm, which must exceed $9.07 million to qualify for federal assistance.

Once preliminary cost are passed on to Shelby County Mayor Luttrell, he will coordinate with Gov. Bill Haslam, who will then forward the information to the federal government for evaluation.

If it meets the criteria, three things can happen:

1)  The City would be reimbursed for 80 percent of cost associated with damages to government buildings, schools, infrastructure, as well as clean up costs.
2) Individuals in Shelby County will be able to apply for federal financial assistance to pay for damages to their homes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
3) Local small businesses could receive low-interest Small Business Administration loans to help rebuild.


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