KUB prepares for ice storm

KUB prepares for ice storm


KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With the National Weather Service predicting significant ice accumulations Friday in much of East Tennessee, the Knoxville Utilities Board is preparing in advance to minimize the number of outages that may result from the storm.

"If the ice is as heavy as predicted, restoring power will be a multi-day event," the utility said in a news release.

KUB said that heavy ice can lead to extensive damage as a result of downed trees and broken wires and poles.

The utility expects to have to clear a large number of downed trees as a result of the approaching storm.

"We're staged and ready, hoping for the best but ready for the worse," said KUB overhead construction manager John Williams.

They're preparing for the highest level of response.

"Any time you get over 1/4 inch of ice you risk everything. Our system is built to withstand that and we hope we don't have to test it," he said. "Our folks work 16 hour shifts rotating. They work 16 and they're off 8 and we blend that so there's people here all around the clock."

It's all hands on deck in times like these. Williams says every KUB employee, no matter their usual role, will be working to keep the power on until the storm has passed.

"We owe a debt gratitude to our employees for being committed and putting their lives on hold during this, to all the community responders," he said.

Electricity customers are asked to prepare for potential outages and be patient as crews work to restore any outages on Friday.

KUB has asked utility crews from outside the area to come to Knoxville to help restore power as needed. Fifty crews will be available Thursday night into Friday morning.

To report an outage, customers can call 524-2911 or 1-800-250-8068.

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