Skip to Content

UCEMC More Prepared For Winter Cold After Last Year’s Freeze

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCEMC More Prepared For Winter Cold After Last Year’s Freeze

Lessons learned from the freeze of Christmas 2022 have made UCEMC more prepared for similar events going forward.

The Christmas freeze with temperatures below zero featured rolling blackouts. UCEMC CEO Jennifer Brogdon said TVA has spent well over $120 million to upgrade facilities that did not perform well. Brogdon said she is confident that the system will be strong enough to avoid rolling blackouts, even in a severe winter storm.

“There have been a ton of different meetings and conversations about lessons learned from that event,” Brogdon said. “I think what it has done is opened our eyes that sometimes you have to put these emergency plans in place that you have sitting on the shelf, and they work pretty good.”

Brogdon said hardening power generators with heat trace, insulated enclosures, and windbreaks will help UCEMC identify risks sooner and protect residents from outages.

She said the stress put on the TVA’s power grid last year forced them to impose rolling blackouts on Upper Cumberland residents, which had never happened before.

“We feel like we have a good, strong plan,” Brogdon said. “Everybody understands the roles, the responsibilities, how we could communicate when such an event occurs going forward.”

She said she believes that TVA could have done a better job communicating with power companies and residents last year. She said the blackouts were initiated on about 15 minutes notice, but UCEMC had a strong enough system to help ease the pressure on the grid and pull off the 30-minute blackouts without a hitch, and avoid affecting critical care facilities like hospitals and nursing homes.

“We don’t anticipate getting into that situation again this winter,” Brogdon said. “I would hate to say there’s a 100 percent chance we won’t but we think it would be unlikely.”

Brogdon said it is still a good idea for people to prepare themselves for the slim chance of a blackout. She said it is always important to get your home as tight as possible by checking weather stripping, caulking, and any other measures that help prevent power escape.

“Everything should be fine as it relates to intermittent power outages, but if you want to maintain maximum comfort in your home during the winter whether we’re in an outage situation like that or not, take advantage of power-saving opportunities and energy efficiency,” Brogdon said.


The post UCEMC More Prepared For Winter Cold After Last Year’s Freeze appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.