MLGW crews working 16-hour shifts throughout the weekend

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — As Memphis Ligh Gas & Water crews work around the clock to fix power outages from this week’s ice storm they’re also preparing for the next winter blast.

Currently, there are 79 crews working to fix power outages. The goal is to restore power to 95 percent of the customers who lost it by Friday night then continue working throughout the weekend.

Earlier Friday afternoon, there were several power lines dangling in the air off Merton Road. MLGW workers were doing their best to restore power.

An MLGW spokesperson said crews will be working 16-hour shifts throughout the weekend.

PHOTOS: Icy conditions, power outages, and damage reported across the Mid-South

“When we get a half-inch of ice on our lines they tend to break and then when the tree limbs fall, they fall into our line, they fall into our equipment so we will have outages,” said Gale Jones Carson.

FOX13 also talked to an East Memphis man who ended up staying in a hotel for the night because his power was out.

“I had to go running, grab some stuff yesterday and rent a hotel. That’s all I can do,” said Mark Tye. “As long as my power gets cut back on I’ll come right back. Hopefully, it’ll be back on by tonight so I can come home.”

MLGW said you should never assume crews know about an outage and it’s important to call as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, road crews plan on covering the roads with salt to make sure drivers are safe.

Public Works Director Robert Knecht said crews will shift into high gear Saturday night when temperatures start to drop.

He said trucks will put salt on the streets until there are ice and snow.

Once there is ice, crews will put a mixture of salt and sand on the ground to make it easier for drivers.

If there is snow, the City of Memphis is ready because it has trucks with snowplow attachments to help clear the streets

“We only have so many plows, so many spreaders, and we only focus on major roads,” said Knecht.

“We don’t do back streets or residential streets, we don’t have the capacity to do that.”

Knecht said once the winter blast hits, crews will work until the roads are clear even if it means working 24 hours every day.