Cold weather knocks out power for 7500 Blount County residents

Cold weather knocks out power for 7500 Blount County residents

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By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - The cold snap across East Tennessee was made even worse Saturday morning for several thousand local residents, who woke up to find themselves without power.

More than 7,000 homes in Blount County were in the dark for about half the day, as crews worked to restore electricity.

The power outage meant no heat, making it a frigid start to the day inside the homes of people like Lauren Jones of Maryville.

"When I woke up, it was really cold," said Jones. "It's cold. I couldn't get out from under the blankets. It was 52. In my house."

Their power, along with the power of 7,500 other homes in the area, was out.

Jones says it was tough to handle for her family of five children under the age of seven, including a four month old baby.

"It was very uncomfortable. It was very cold. The baby was my main concern, because she's sick. She has RSV and she can't get too cold," said Jones.

Crews with the City of Alcoa Electric Department worked for about four hours to get the lights turned back on.

"It's a very important thing. People need their electricity," said Steve Biggar, the utility services supervisor for the City of Alcoa Electric Department.

Biggar says the frigid overnight temperatures are to blame for the outage, which caused the entire Wildwood substation to black out.

"When we have temperatures that plummet, late at night or early in the mornings is usually when it happens, it causes everything to kick out at the substation," said Biggar.

Even colder temperatures than last night are forecasted in the days ahead.

On the heels of Saturday's outage, the City of Alcoa crews are going to be on high alert over the next several days.

"We are looking closely at that. We have people that are on standby and on call. We're ready to go just as quick as we get the calls," said Biggar.

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