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Early February power outages caused distress for students

<p><span>Ice Storm Landon knocked down trees and powerlines throughout Memphis.</span></p>
Ice Storm Landon knocked down trees and powerlines throughout Memphis.

Three weeks ago, Ice Storm Landon wiped out power for more than 233,000 MLGW customers. People have compared it to the bad ice storm of February 1994 which interrupted power for roughly 281,000 MLGW customers.

Some customers’ outages lasted for up to 11 days. Memphis Light, Gas, and Water announced that all power outages due to the February 3 ice storm were restored on February 14th. 

For those 11 or so days, affected customers had no heat to keep warm, no lights to see at night, no fridge or freezer to keep their groceries fresh, and no WIFI to do needed work. 

Many college students had found themselves in a tricky position. Many U of M students were forced out of their comfort zones and had to improvise their daily routines due to the widespread outages. 

Finance major and East Memphis resident Parker Hubbard’s power was out for 4 days.

“I couldn’t do my school assignments or really anything at home after the first day because it was so cold in my house from losing heat,” Hubbard explained. “It was really stressful not only just my everyday life being interrupted but the pressure of school and work was overwhelming.”

As Hubbard mentioned, temperatures were often at or below freezing for the duration of the storm. The weekend after Ice Storm Landon hit Memphis, the temperature low was 22 degrees. 

Kendal Strand, a University of Memphis nursing student, was also affected by the power outages. With online assignments dependent on access to electricity, Strand had to search for a warm place with WiFi and working electrical outlets. 

“In nursing school, you really can’t get behind,” Strand said. “I had to stay at a friend’s place for 6 days, and it threw me off not being in my comfort zone. I didn’t sleep the same, eat the same, or even concentrate the same.” 

The outage proved to be a trying time for college students, but many teachers understood.

“Thankfully, my teachers altered some deadlines for upcoming assignments,” Strand said. “Although those 6 days were stressful, I am seriously thankful for electricity now.” 

To prepare for unexpected future power outages, it is recommended by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to prepare a kit with essentials such as drinking water and non-perishable food, cash, batteries, flashlights, and blankets.

Ice Storm Landon knocked down trees and powerlines throughout Memphis.

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