EPB cuts number of Chattanoogans without power to 1,600

EPB cuts number of Chattanoogans without power to 1,600

May 5th, 2011 by Ellis Smith in Local - Breaking News

EPB operator O'Fair Brooks, left, and EPB lineman Charles Sales replace a utility pole near the intersection of Mountain View Avenue, and Crest Drive after a severe storm uprooted trees and damaged area homes. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

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EPB on Thursday restored power to an additional 1,600 homes and businesses. There are still roughly 1,600 homes and business without power, down from 5,500 Wednesday evening.

The company has promised it will restore power to nearly all customers by the end of today.

In the minutes after the April 27 tornadoes, 119,000 businesses and residences were initially affected, more than half of EPB's customers.

As more than 1,500 contractors and EPB employees continue to work through the destruction, the estimated cost of the storms has continued to escalate toward between $12 million and $15 million.

To date, the utility has identified 493 broken utility poles, 301 damaged transformers, and 30 miles of wire.

For comparison, EPB only replaced 89 broken utility poles during the Blizzard of '93.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.