MLGW works to restore power to thousands, out-of-state crews brought in to help

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- On Monday crews were cleaning up in the Mid-South from severe storms that left tens of thousands of our friends and neighbors without electricity.

Hurricane-force straight-line winds Saturday night took down trees, causing the third-highest number of power outages MLGW says they have ever dealt with at once.

The utility company says it will most likely take at least a week to get everyone's lights back on, and at last check with officials, 98,000 customers are without power. That is down from 188,000.

On Monday WREG found four trucks on McLean in Midtown working to repair multiple poles that were knocked down.

Monday night there are thousands of people in the city in the dark as MLGW scrambles to get the lights back on. WREG was there as anxious residents watched crews make repairs.

"Just seeing them here working, even if it takes a little while, we’re happy to see that," said Charlotte Gillespie, who was without power on Monday.

Dennis Lynch lives off McLean, one of the streets shut down. He talked to MLGW about how they plan to tackle the problems on his street.

"Well they first of all have to evaluate what’s going on. He was marking where the gas lines were and such because this pole right across the street has to be replaced, and so they have to drill and dig in order to replace it," he said.

MLGW says 70 crews from several states are set to arrive by tomorrow to help. Some are already in town; today WREG saw trucks from Kentucky and Virginia.

"The crews who are coming in addition to our crews, they have different specialties. Some of them are linemen, work on substations, tree trimming, just all kinds of skills," explained MLGW spokesperson Gale Jones Carson.

In addition to residential areas, crews were also out in business and commercial areas. Brooks Road from Winbrook to Airways was closed for hours as crews repaired four poles there.

Jones Carson said what made this storm so destructive was high winds knocking over trees.

"That’s a major problem. The trees falling into the homes, into the lines and into our buildings," she said.

As temperatures rise, so can impatience.

"What we do is get the largest amount of customers on first and then we work down to the individual customers and some customers may not see our employees working, our trucks working, but they may be a few streets over because their power may be serviced from a different location," said Jones Carson.

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