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Memphis area weather-related updates – Memphis Local, Sports … – The Daily Memphian

Candles help illuminate a dark Christmas Eve Mass during a temporary power outage at 3863 Summer Ave. (Karen Focht/Special to The Daily Memphian)

The power was out, but all was calm, all was bright at Christmas Eve service..
Likelihood of more rolling blackouts “low,” according to MLGW.
MLGW asks all customers to boil water before consuming. 
More updates.

The power was out, but all was calm, all was bright at Christmas Eve service..
Likelihood of more rolling blackouts “low,” according to MLGW.
MLGW asks all customers to boil water before consuming. 
More updates.
Candles are often used in Christmas Eve services to symbolize Jesus’ arrival as “the Light of the World,” but they played a dual role Saturday when a rolling blackout hit St. Michael Church.
St. Michael Church grows against the grain, expands on Summer Ave.
The Christmas Eve Mass was so crowded some worshipers had to stand. (Karen Focht/Special to The Daily Memphian)
The electricity was out for 4 p.m. Mass at the Catholic church at 3863 Summer Ave. The building was cold and dark, but the pews were packed with so many people bundled in warm clothes that some had to sit on the floor or stand. 
Father Ben Bradshaw led the Mass, and worshipers sang “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night” by candlelight. Just as communion ended, the lights came on, the congregation gasped, and, as if on cue, began singing “Joy to the World.”
Despite a rolling blackout, the Christmas Eve Mass was so crowded some worshipers sat on the floor at St. Michael Caholic Church at 3863 Summer Ave. (Karen Focht/Special to The Daily Memphian)
 
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MLGW is recommending all customers boil water before consuming it, an expansion of its precautionary advisory that originally applied to only some customers.
The expanded advisory comes as a result of “a significant loss of (water) pressure to Memphis and Shelby County,” MLGW said in a statement issued at 8:15 p.m. on Saturday. The full statement is included below.
MLGW recommends water is boiled for at least three minutes before it is consumed, including being used for cooking or making ice. An early advisory only applied to customers in some parts of Shelby County.
More blackouts unlikely, MLGW says; 226,000 users have been without electricity
Due to freezing weather and power outages, MLGW has experienced multiple line breaks which has resulted in a significant loss of pressure to Memphis and Shelby County in the drinking water system. (The Daily Memphian file)
The water boil recommendation is a result of low water pressure caused by “a growing number of water main breaks,” MLGW said. As of 9:15 p.m. Saturday, MLGW knew of five water main breaks.
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The likelihood of continued forced blackouts is “low,” according to MLGW after a total of 226,000 customers have so far been without electricity as a result of rolling blackouts required by TVA.
Fewer than 1,000 MLGW customers remain without power as of 7 p.m. on Saturday. The rolling blackouts have ended, MLGW said.
However, since Friday, rolling blackouts have started and stopped — sometimes on short notice — as TVA has dealt with problems in its network of power-generation facilities and transmission lines.
Over half of MLGW customers have faced rolling blackouts
“The risk of additional forced blackouts is low for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,” said MLGW President and CEO Doug McGowen. As of 7 p .m. on Saturday, according to McGowen the TVA grid is “stable” and added that MLGW does not expect any more “weather-induced electrical outages into next week.”
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Residents in specific areas of southeast and north Shelby County are “strongly advised” to comply with MLGW’s boil water advisory, according to the Shelby County Health Department.
Multiple line breaks and production issues have resulted in a significant loss of water pressure in these areas, which include parts of southeast Memphis, Germantown and Millington.
Over half of MLGW customers have faced rolling blackouts
Tap water should be boiled for at least three minutes before consumption, including drinking and cooking.
Water pressure loss and water main breaks can allow disease-causing microbes into the water system; those bacteria, viruses and other parasites can cause gastrointestinal distress including nausea, cramps, diarrhea and headache.
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More than half of Memphis Light, Gas and Water’s customers have been impacted by mandatory rolling blackouts over the past two days, according to President Doug McGowen. 
“Should we have continued this work throughout the next 24 hours, all of our customers would have experienced a blackout of some variety or another,” McGowen said. 
The Tennessee Valley Authority enacted mandatory rolling blackouts among its 153 local power companies on Friday morning, Dec. 23. The historic move was made as the TVA saw a record power demand. 
Watch the MLGW winter storm update live
This is the first time the TVA or MLGW have had to curtail its power using rolling blackouts. 
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Watch the MLGW conference live.
 
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Rolling blackouts are lasting longer than expected, and in areas not included in the previously announced plan from Memphis, Light, Gas and Water. 
The Tennessee Valley Authority implemented a never-before-taken action called Step 50 to mandate rolling blackouts across its service area on Friday, Dec. 23 to avoid widespread outages.
Northcentral ends rolling outages in N. Miss.
MLGW initiated its first round of rolling blackouts on Friday morning just before the TVA rescinded its order. At the time, MLGW said it was mandated to reduce its total electric load by 5%. 
They’re underway again Saturday morning, Dec. 24, and this time, MLGW has to shed 10% of its load. 
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Northcentral Electric Cooperative, which supplies electricity to eastern DeSoto County and western Marshall County in northern Mississippi, has ceased rolling outages as of Saturday, Dec. 24.
Olive Branch copes with low gas pressure amid extreme cold
The announcement comes following the Tennessee Valley Authority’s request Saturday, Dec. 24 to its customer utilities to reduce electric usage due to high demand caused by below-freezing temperatures. 
NEC is still asking members to conserve their energy usage.
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Memphis Light, Gas & Water has issued a boil water advisory for parts of Southeast Memphis, Germantown and Millington. 
Memphis Light, Gas & Water has issued a boil water advisory for parts of Southeast Memphis, Germantown and Millington. (The Daily Memphian file)
MLGW announced late Friday, Dec. 23, that multiple line breaks and production issues had resulted in a significant loss of water pressure in Southeast and north Shelby County. Utility customers in those areas should boil water for three minutes before drinking or consuming it or use bottled water instead. 
Southeast Memphis customers within this border are under a boil water advisory. (Courtesy MLGW)
TVA facing outages, record demand as rolling blackouts loom
Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking but also brushing teeth, food preparation, washing dishes and making ice. 
Customers in the impacted areas are also being asked to conserve water usage. 
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The Tennessee Valley Authority is facing outages as rolling blackouts loom over its customers.
“Due to the extreme cold and high winds, we have lost some generation, and our employees are working around the clock to return these units to service,” chief operating officer Don Moul said. “We will continue to manage the system in spite of the challenging circumstances.” 
MLGW preps to restart rolling blackouts
The federally owned utility faces outages at two of its coal-fired plants — Cumberland and Bull Run — along with some of its natural gas plants, according to spokesperson Scott Brooks. 
Typical power demand for December is around 24,000 megawatts. Its power demand surpassed 33,000 megawatts on Friday — a nearly 60% increase from Thursday. 
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