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Politics

TN Politics: A Week for Melting and Meltdowns

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As Memphians bundled up and stayed indoors last week during the winter storms, two other storms were a-brewing, as they say, in the public sphere. More than 2,000 unused COVID vaccine doses went into the garbage -- a major waste blamed on weather and miscommunication. In addition, the Shelby County Health Department ended up with a massive stockpile of more than 30,000 doses, that ran afoul of state policy. Details are still being uncovered, but political analyst Otis Sanford says calls for resignations are understandable. 

MLGW also faced a crisis last week as wells and pumping stations broke down in the cold and more than a hundred water mains burst, along with thousands more pipes in homes and businesses. A mandated boil water advisory went into effect when water pressure dropped below a certain level. In the week it took to restore the system, MLGW worked to stave off rumors and misinformation on social media and offered daily press briefings. Sanford believes MLGW and the City of Memphis Public Works did a commendable job given the severity of the winter weather event.