Nearly 20,000 area homes, businesses still without power

Nearly 20,000 area homes, businesses still without power

May 2nd, 2011 in News

Power lines in a subdivision of Apison, Tenn., lie twisted on the ground from last week's tornado that tore through Apison and Ringgold, Ga.

Photo by Jenna Walker/Times Free Press.

EPB and Volunteer Energy Cooperative reconnected another 6,600 area homes and businesses overnight to cut the number of homes and businesses without power from the two utilities to under 20,000.

But EPB spokeswoman Lacie Newton said it will probably be Thursday before power is completely restored following last week's storms.

Newton said EPB restored service to 5,000 customers Sunday night and early Monday, cutting the number of Chattanooga homes and businesses still without power this morning to 19,000. At the peak last week, about 115,000 EPB customers were without power in what is now the costliest and worst power outage ever for the Chattanooga utility.

"EPB crews, contractors, retirees and hundreds of workers from out of town are working 24/7 to get power restored to all of our customers," Newton said. "Because of the massive damage needing to be repaired, we anticipate that it will be Thursday before all customers in the service area have power."

At Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC), which serves five East Tennessee counties east of Chattanooga, crews were able to restore power to an additional 1,600 customers late Sunday night and early Monday morning. As of 9 a.m. today, about 300 Volunteer Energy customers remain without power, according to the utlity's operations vice president, Clyde Jolley.

Volunteer crews are now turning their attention to localized damage that affects smaller numbers of customers, Jolley said.

However, some Spring City customers suffered another setback Monday morning when a tree fell on Powerlines in the Ware Farm area Monday morning that knocked out power to 35 customers.

The remaining outages in the VEC service area are mostly scattered in the Pinhook Road area of Polk County, and the McDonald and Hopewell areas of Bradley County.

More: TVA says 212,000 still without power