In the dark: Woman waiting weeks for help after storm cuts power to Memphis home


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A breast cancer survivor and mom of a teenage son says she’s been trying for two weeks to get help from her landlord and the Memphis Housing Authority after a tree knocked out power to her duplex in North Memphis.

During a storm on April 12, a tree fell in Anita Adams’s backyard and took out some windows and power lines connected to her house. MLGW said the homeowner was notified on April 14 that the weatherhead to the home needed to be repaired before they could reinstall a meter and power to the home.

Adams said crews hired by her landlord didn’t show up until this past Monday to begin the work.

“We got to get code enforcement out here first. Code enforcement has to make sure that is straight for MLGW to hook up our power,” said Adams.

DCC Rentals manages the home on North Lexington Circle, and the Memphis Housing Authority subsidizes Adams’s rent.

The Memphis Housing Authority admits it was contacted by Adams on April 14 but didn’t do an emergency inspection of the property until five days later.

“On April 20, we had not received a response from the owner saying the deficiency had been corrected, and she had power. So, on April 21, we terminated that unit from our program. On April 23, we issued Ms. Adams an RTA, a request for Tenancy Approval, so she could shop for other housing,” said Dexter Washington, COO of the Memphis Housing Authority.

The Memphis Housing Authority said it contacted Adams by email, but she told us she had not received an emergency voucher to move. Adams said the last two weeks have been difficult for her and her son.

“I had to go to school today because they were fixing to drop him because of truancy because he hasn’t been online in 14 days,” said Adams. “I called my school, Ultimate Medical Academy, because I’ve been out of school for 14 days.”

Adams said she didn’t qualify for emergency assistance from MIFA or the Red Cross and had been relying on her neighbors for help.

“My neighbors are getting money together, so I can stay in a hotel room this weekend because it’s just too hot inside,” Adams said.

Adams’s landlord blamed the delays on their insurance company. After WREG contacted the Memphis Housing Authority, they emailed Adams another voucher Wednesday morning.

Adams has until June 22 to find a new place to live.

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