Restoring power could take more than a week

Restoring power could take more than a week

April 29th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Local - Breaking News

EPB reported this afternoon that 55,000 customers are still without power in the Chattanooga. The utility has made progress on restoring power to large groups of customers, after 119,000 businesses and homes were initially cut off from electricity on April 27.

It will take more than eight days to mend all the broken lines and replace the splintered poles throughout EPB's service area, according to Harold DePriest, president of EPB.

The storm, the most violent in EPB's 76-year history, will cost the utility between $6 million and $8 million dollars due to the devastated infrastructure.

In one single line of poles, a tornado took out 31 in a row - poles that cost about $2,500 each to replace.

Worst hit overall in EPB's service area was the region from Northgate to the foot of Lookout Mountain, and from just south of the Georgia border to the foot of Signal Mountain.

However, the most concentrated damage was in Apison, DePriest said.

EPB serves a total of 145,000 homes and about 25,000 businesses in a 600-square-mile area.

The Times Free Press will post further details as they become available. Pick up a copy of tomorrow's' Times Free Press for more information.