Roughly 12,000 Tennesseans remain without power as of Thursday evening, and most of them are on the Upper Cumberland in Putnam, Overton and Jackson counties.
The area received much more ice than counties to the west, which has resulted in falling trees taking out power lines, including some primary lines. The Upper Cumberland Electric Cooperative has dubbed this an “extended outage situation,” warning that some customers could be without electricity for several more days.
“On several lines, as soon as they get it back up, another tree will fall down [on] the line and take it back out,” Mayor Randy Porter wrote on his Facebook page Thursday night.
At 7:30 p.m., the outage figure was still at 3,000 for Putnam County, 1,500 in Overton County and 900 in Jackson County. (Nearby Fentress County also has 200 customers without power but is served by another utility.)
“With the winter weather mostly out of here, progress should pickup tomorrow and the days to follow,” Porter says.
Putnam County has two overnight shelters open, at Cookeville First Baptist Church and Washington Avenue Baptist Church. Porter says other churches are willing to open if needed.
Elsewhere in Middle Tennessee, Bedford County, which also received a large amount of ice, still has 2,800 without power. So are another 800 customers in neighboring Moore and Coffee counties. Like Bedford, those counties are served by the Duck River Electric Membership Corp.