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About 15,000 UCEMC Customers Without Power

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
About 15,000 UCEMC Customers Without Power

The Upper Cumberland Electric Corporation is working on restoring power for about 15,000 reported outages.

Executive Director Jennifer Brogdon said the worry is that progress over the last two days could be lost with more winter weather on the horizon.

“I am concerned, however, that if the pattern continues that we get things fixed, and then, the snow weighs down and puts us right back into the same position we were that we won’t make as much progress as we would like to,” Brogdon said. “I really think this weather is going to have to move out to make a huge dent in getting the outages restored, especially in the Cookeville area.”

Smith County has about 1,300 outages, Overton has 2,000-3,000 and Putnam has the most at about 11,000 without power. Brogdon said the most progress was made in Overton County Tuesday.

“We are doing a better job there and having a little better luck as it relates to getting our breakers back on at the substations,” Brogdon said. “The conditions are leaning towards a speedier effort there, so that is positive. We have some outages, but they are not quite as extensive as Cookeville.”

Brogdon said line men are working up to 16 hours to restore electricity. Brogdon said outside crews and contractors from neighboring corporations are coming in to support the effort.

“The tornadoes were terrible that gripped our areas not too long ago,” Brogdon said. “This is not unlike that and perhaps more wide spread. We are dealing with down trees. We are dealing with downed lines. But, we are also dealing with frigid conditions that are very difficult for our folks that are working these outages, and that also makes it difficult to get our equipment up and running, because at times, switches are frozen and lines are overloaded. So, it is quite complex.”

Crews from Appalachian Electric, Fort Loudoun Electric, Georgia’s Blue Ridge Electric and Tri-County Electric are all assisting. Brogdon said fatigue and safety is becoming a concern, so these crew will be a big help.

“When we have outages at this magnitude, we are really focused on working from the substations out to the single feeders,” Brogdon said. “So, those are the areas that we are concentrating on.”


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