Updated Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Leaders in and around Putnam County are warning of power outages that could last for days as trees and limbs continue to fall, hampering the winter storm recovery.
The mayor of Putnam County says progress has been made in restoring power. But another wave of winter weather expected overnight may hamper the county’s restoration efforts.
In a video update Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Randy Porter reiterated that it may be several days before power is fully restored.
“Even though your power may come back on … we have some of those instances where they bring up customers last night and they’re already back off this morning due to more trees falling. You have to be prepared for a multiple-day outage,” he said.
Upper Cumberland Electric is still reporting about 6,500 people without power and expects the outage will not be cleared Wednesday. Duck River Electrical Membership Corporation in the Bedford County area will also need more time.
In a previous Facebook Livestream on Tuesday evening, the mayor told residents not to wait too long to find a warm place.
“We need to talk to you very bluntly about what’s going on with our county and with all these power outages,” Porter said. “If you’re in one of those affected areas, we’re asking that you please think about making plans to try to stay with friends, family or relatives that have power, unless you have the means to be self-sustaining in your home without the power.”
While crews from other areas are helping, Porter says they’re being slowed by the frigid temperatures, blocked roads and a shortage of equipment. Many homes also had meters ripped off of homes by downed lines — a situation that requires an electrician to help with the reconnection.