KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Valley Authority officials said Monday that crews and personnel are continuing to work on repairing damaged power transmission equipment in Tennessee and Kentucky areas impacted by the weekend storms and tornadoes. TVA said the storms were the most destructive to the region since the April 2011 tornado outbreak.
According to the TVA, at least 100 transmission towers and poles were damaged and destroyed; with 31 TVA transmission lines knocked out of service. More than 20 customer connection points – where the TVA power system meets with local power companies – went offline leaving more than 250,000 customers without power amid and after the storms.
TVA’s power system is the nation’s second-largest. TVA also said its transmission system delivers power to connection points with local power companies, whose own distribution systems supply power directly to homes and businesses; both systems must be operational to safely provide reliable electricity.
Since deploying immediately after the storms passed, TVA and local power company repair crews have made significant progress, including:
- 14 customer connection points have been restored in northwestern Tennessee and western Kentucky, reducing the number of individuals without power by more than 57% from Saturday’s peak.
- Nine TVA transmission lines that directly supply electricity to local power companies remain out of service and are the primary focus of TVA’s current restoration efforts.
- TVA helicopters have completed initial damage assessments of the impacted transmission system; engineers are working to finalize repair plans, and materials needed to restore the system are being transported to the area.
- More than 160 TVA line workers and additional contractor line crews are working 24/7 to repair damage.
- Portable transformers and additional equipment are already arriving in the hardest-hit areas to temporarily restore service to severely damaged switchyards while more permanent repairs can be made.
Due to the extent of the damage in some areas, TVA is unable to provide any specific time for full restoration.
TVA is also reminding residents that any downed power line should always be considered energized and dangerous. Local power companies should be contacted to report downed lines. If a local power company cannot be reached, alert local law enforcement personnel or emergency responders.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated as more connection points have been restored.