MLGW crews work 16-hour shifts to reconnect power - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

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MLGW crews work 16-hour shifts to reconnect power

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Matt Gerien / FOX13 News Matt Gerien / FOX13 News
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FRAYSER, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Memphis Light, Gas and Water said it could be a couple of days before the power is restored to everyone in Shelby County after Sunday's wicked ice storm.

More than 50 crews are working 16 hour shifts and they're still out working Tuesday night, some 48 hours after the brunt of the storm hit the region.

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Earlier Tuesday, just as MLGW crews made some progress in reconnecting power after Sunday's ice storm, there was an explosion and another problem down the line.

VIEW: MLGW power outage map

The explosion likely means there's another problem nearby, people in this area will be in the dark a little bit longer.

Fifty utility crews are working 16-hour shifts around the clock to reconnect power to customers, especially the community of Frayser.

Before they can get the power restored, tree crews needed to move in and clear the debris. Contractors climbed up the trees to untangle the mess.

"I'm happy to see them. I'm glad they're here," said David Pinder.

It's the first time Pinder has seen MLGW crews since the ice storm hit. Trees snapped all around his home taking out the wires...

"The last couple of days have just been cold," Pinder said. "Not knowing when we was going to be able to get the lights back on or not and having kids and stuff, so we had to make the decision to get them out. Just waiting on the guys coming up and trying to get some heat on. Been two days and we're ready, about ready to come home now."

MLGW spokeswoman Gale Jones Carson said crews have restored power to nearly 74,000 customers since Sunday night. They attacked the biggest outages first, but now they're dealing with the small ones, and it's taking a lot longer to get the job done.

The utility company is coordinating its crews from a war room in its building off Whitten Road.

"When you start having two customers here or 10 or 100, it takes a little bit longer," Carson said. "But our goal is to try to have everyone on our electrical system completely on within a couple of days. That is our goal."

Bessie Cox is one of the ones still waiting. She's been heading out to her SUV to charge her cellphone.

"The lights across the street they just came on about an hour ago," Cox said. "We still ain't go no power."

Her street was hit hard. Trees snapped around her home. The food in her fridge has spoiled and she's been trying to keep the kids occupied. But, she's trying to stay patient.

"I'm not mad about it because it was nature," Cox said. "But I just wish the lights here would come back on."

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