Volunteer Electric working around the clock on the Cumberland Plateau


CROSSVILLE (WATE) – Volunteer Electric Cooperative said they are bringing in extra crews and working around the clock on more than 23,000 outages.

Cumberland County has the most outages with 16,000 without power. Fentress County has more than 2,700 without power and Overton, Putnam, White, Bledsoe, Morgan, Rhea and Scott counties have scattered outages.

More: Power Outage information

At the height of the storm, Volunteer Electric Cooperative had nearly 40,000 outages.

Previous story: Thousands still without power in Cumberland County

The power provider said that some customers may be without power for a few more days as they work on sections of lines.

Around 400 workers have been deployed in the area, including 50 service and 30 right-of-way crews. They estimate around 300 poles will need to be replaced.

Resident Melanie Wojciechowski hasn’t had power or heat for four days.

She says she heard the trees coming down around her house during last week’s ice storm, but she was not expecting this kind of damage.

“It’s sort of like when you get hit by a tornado. You take shelter and if you survive it, you go out and look and go, ‘wow.’ But it looks like a tornado in this neighborhood,” she said.

Thousands of trees are uprooted. Power lines are down everywhere and 16,000 families just like Wojciechowski’s are cold and wondering how much longer They’re going to have to go without heat.

“Five more days they think it’s going to be out. And it’s tough. You’ve got to keep the babies and the little ones warm,” she said.

In the meantime, Wojciechowski says her family is going to keep cooking over her fireplace and helping out their neighbors.

“Cumberland County is good though. People take care of each other. They really do.”

Sheriff Casey Cox said it’s like a tornado came through, but instead of a straight path, the whole county was hit.

“We’ve been really busy trying to clear roadways. For the sheriff’s office, we’ve been really busy doing welfare checks. Out of town folks wanting their loved ones checked on and elderly folks. We’ve been checking on those people so we’ve been really busy doing that, trying to get people to the shelter,” said Sheriff Cox.

The sheriff also said to make sure to watch out for downed power lines. They are everywhere and you may not notice them until its too late.

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