EPB: Easter storms could cost $28 million, be more costly than 2011 tornadoes

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd / A crew from Chattanooga's Service Electric Company works to restore power on Davidson Road in East Brainerd on April 22, 2020.

The Easter night tornadoes that ripped through parts of Chattanooga could end up being one of the costliest ever for Chattanooga's electric utility in its 81-year history.

EPB President David Wade said Friday that rebuilding much of the utility's electric system is likely to cost $28 million or more due to the extensive damages from the April 12-13 storms that brought seven tornadoes and winds of up to 145 miles an hour through parts of Chattanooga. Those storms knocked out power anywhere from a few hours to nine days for 62,000 homes and businesses in EPB's territory and cut off power for thousands more in parts of North Georgia and Marion and Bradley counties.

More than a third of EPB's customers lost power after the storm, but Wade said the losses would have been even more without EPB's smart grid.