All power restored in Fentress County, work ongoing on Cumberland County


CROSSVILLE (WATE) – After days without power, Volunteer Energy Cooperative said they have restored all power in Fentress County.

Volunteer Energy said 342 customers are still without power, including 229 outages in Cumberland County.

At its peak, the power provider reported 40,000 outages throughout their coverage area.

Previous story: Over 30,000 without power in Cumberland and Fentress counties

Five hundred additional crews from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation, Caney Fork Electric Cooperative were bought in to help over one hundred crews working to restore power.

Slideshow: Volunteer Energy Cooperative crews work tirelessly on lines

Some people got power back only Monday after nine days without electricity.

“Friday night about 3 o’clock it sounded like bombs were going off. Trees groaned, creaked and crashed to the ground,” said Jack Seville.

Seville was one of so many seniors who spent days stranded on his street in the Uplands Village retirement community.

“This whole neighborhood was blocked. We can’t get out,” he said.

Clean up actively continues. Crews hauling load after load of debris say they’re exhausted from the work.

Seville is recovering from eight days without power. He says his living room was the warmest place in the house.

“We slept in the sitting room on the couch sitting up for eight days and eight nights,” he said.

For almost 10 days, Jim and Pat Cavanaugh used their fireplace for heat, head lamps for light and a gas stove to cook. The couple, in their 80’s, only got power back Monday. They’re still a little shaken up by what happened.

“Woke up in the middle of the night. And it really sounded like a war or something. Huge cracks when those big branches go. It sounds like shotguns all night it sounds like shotguns,” they said.

The aftermath is clearly visible. Tirelessly, crews here have spent days trying to restore power, using chainsaws to cut trees and picking up brush and debris.

“It’s overwhelming. It does not look like we put a dent in it,” said Jesse Johnson with the city of Pleasant Hill.

Now there’s possibility of more wintry weather on Thursday. Crews say if we get significant weather on Thursday, they’ll stand down for a bit, then get right back on it.

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