Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

NES crews make significant progress in power restoration efforts

Nashville Electric System crews made significant progress overnight, restoring power to an additional 10,000 customers who were affected by a tornado that hit the city earlier this week, NES reported on March 5.

Since the tornado hit two days ago, crews have repaired power to approximately 31,000 customers, NES noted on its Facebook page. As of the morning of March 5, there were still more than 18,000 without electricity, “but we will continue to work around the clock until power is restored to every customer who can receive it,” the utility said.

NES also reported that the number of broken power poles from the storm has increased to 673. For context, there were approximately 200 broken poles from a 1998 tornado.

“These poles take time to replace so we thank you for your continued patience, and we won’t stop until power is restored,” NES said.

The utility said that it still expects to make significant progress repairing substations and transmission lines by the end of the week, “and if all goes well, most customers who can receive power will be restored by Monday. That is an estimation and not a guarantee.”

Crews assist with restoration efforts

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority on March 4 said its transmission crews had joined operators and linemen from local power companies to assess and restore power to thousands across Davidson, Wilson and Putnam counties in Tennessee after an EF-3 tornado ripped through the area. Nashville is located in Davidson County.

By mid-afternoon March 4, TVA had restored power to all but three customer substations. “Local power companies are working around the clock to repair hundreds of broken poles and downed lines to restore power to their customers. Thousands remain without power in Davidson and Wilson counties,” TVA said.

TVA infrastructure in Middle Tennessee felt the brunt of the 155 to 165 mph winds and flying debris brought by the tornado. The utility identified 35 damaged high-voltage electrical transmission towers and 17 lines down.

Brian Solsbee, Executive Director at the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association, earlier this week noted that Tennessee public power utilities McMinnville Electric System, Lenoir City Utilities Board, and Harriman Utility Board provided mutual aid to the public power community of Cookeville, Tenn.

The Tennessean reported that at least sixteen people, including several children, were killed in a tornado that swept through a two-mile stretch of Putnam County west of Cookeville early Tuesday.

And Tennessee public power utilities Paris Board of Public Utilities and Lexington Electric System, as well as TVA, provided aid to Carroll County Electric Department, Solsbee noted.

At least 25 people have died in four counties, the Nashville Tennessean reported.