published Friday, May 6th, 2011

Only 540 still left without power around the Chattanooga area

  • photo
    Staff Photo by Shane McMillan A worker from EPB strings a powerline back up after it was torn down by a falling tree on the W Road on Signal Mountain on Thursday. Crews were responding to downed branches, fallen trees and weather-related service disruptions. County officials closed down the road when two power lines and a telephone cable were down.

EPB said Friday morning it is still working to restore power to 540 homes and businesses in the Chattanooga area, after reconnecting 1,060 overnight.

The company had initially said it would try to have all customers connected by Thursday, but the scope of the storm damage blew away all estimates.

The cost of the damage to EPB’s grid will exceed $12 million, and could go as high as $15 million, the company has said.

Damage from the April 27 storm caused 119,000 businesses and residences to lose power, more than half of EPB’s customers.

To date, the utility has worked to replace 608 broken utility poles, 379 damaged transformers, and 30 miles of wire.

EPB only had to replace 89 broken utility poles during the Blizzard of ‘93, a record at the time.

The company will only fix damage up to and including the meter itself, said spokeswoman Lacie Newton. The equipment surrounding the meter is the responsibility of the homeowner or business that owns the structure needing power.

Newton added that the utility is aware it has left behind equipment and materials throughout the city, and will return to retrieve that material once all customers’ power is back on.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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