GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - If you are one of the lucky ones who has power restored, it did not come easy.
"The crews are working 16-hour days and then get 8 hours off to rest," said Kent Larson, Senior Vice President of Operations for Xcel Energy.
As of Sunday evening, about 72,500 customers were in the dark after crews restored power to hundreds of thousands of homes since Friday.
"We have a very sophisticated system built to prioritize restoration," said Larson.
The first to get restored are hospitals and people who need power to live. Next, crews go for the most amounts of customers with the least amount of work.
"If we can work on a repair that affects 500 customers, we'll work on that before we work on a location we're restoring just one customer," he said.
The outage is very complex because it impacted so many people, says Xcel Energy. Some homes have power, but across the street other homes don't. Larson says think of the system like a big tree.
"And if you happen to be on the side branches that has a problem it will take out just part of the system," he said.
The perfect example might be in Maplewood.
"(I have) no phone or internet, but at least we have power," said Barb Jacobson.
Jacobson is thanking her lucky stars for that power because she threw a party for her son Sunday afternoon because he graduated from basic training.
"Our neighbor across the street has it," she said about the electricity. "But the neighbor next to him, Stan doesn't have it."
Neither does neighbor Paul Randall. When we stopped by he did not have power, which went out Friday.
"I'm ready. I haven't had a cup of coffee in three days. I really like my coffee," said Randall with a smile.
He traded in the comfort of caffeine for the light of a lantern to guide him through his darkened house. But just as KARE 11 was about to leave the power came back on.
"We have light, we have power!" he said with a smile.
But the work continues for tens of thousands more.
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