More than 3,000 homes without power in Chattanooga area

More than 3,000 homes without power in Chattanooga area

March 2nd, 2011 by Adam Crisp in Local - Breaking News

EPB Executive Vice President and COO David Wade talks to the media this morning outside the EPB Distribution Center in Chattanooga. EPB is closing in on restoring full power to its customers after Monday's storm and tornado.

Photo by Tracey Trumbull/Times Free Press.

EPB reported this morning that still more than 3,000 customers are without power in some of the worst electrical system damage in decades, and it could be Thursday before everyone has power restored.

"These winds cause incredible damage to our electric system," said David Wade, EPB executive vice president and chief operating officer.

EPB says Monday's storms damaged 102 electric poles and left 61,000 customers without power at the peak of the outages.

"On a typical year, we replace about 200 poles that are broken by storms and car accidents," Wade said. "In the last week, we've replaced a half a year's worth of poles."

EPB is asking all customers who are without power to report their outages because the electric utility isn't sure they have identified all the outages yet.

EPB has brought in extra employees from other power companies, and roughly 500 workers are trying to restore power around the clock, he said. Impacted customers may call 423-648-1372 to report problems.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.