Mobile home community on edge amid power outage

Posted at 3:40 PM, Jun 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 07:56:15-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the sun beat down, residents without air conditioning got heated at a mobile home community.

"We all angry, he angry, everybody angry. Tree almost fell on top of his house man, and the line caught on fire," Jesse Warren said.

Warren said his mobile home community at 2828 Dickerson Pike lost power Friday evening.

Warren said, "Sometimes I think NES helps the richer folks more than they do the poor folks."

The main road leading to the neighborhood is blocked by downed lines.

"They kept anybody from coming in and out of here, we all had to drive through the grass up there just to get in and out," Warren said.

Kenneth Amick was impatient in the heat.

"They think that downtown, Bellevue, whatever, is more important than this area here," Amick said.

One woman in the neighborhood went to a nearby building to plug in her oxygen tank.

"We're all concerned," Warren said.

NES said 48,000 customers lost power Friday, so crews have been working around-the-clock to get it restored for everyone. A spokesperson issued a statement:

"NES crews are continuing to work around the clock to restore power. As of Sunday afternoon, we have approximately 2,000 customers without power. That’s down from 48,000 at the peak of the outages, which is the largest we’ve experienced in seven years. The storms left more than 50 poles broken and caused widespread damage to our system.

There are multiple considerations in restoring power. Hospitals, police departments, fire stations and other public health and safety facilities are priority one.

When storms of this magnitude damage our electrical system, we have to repair the main infrastructure before we can get to individual homes. Think of our system as a tree. We work to repair the main system and substations first, or the trunk. Only after those repairs are made can we start working on the primary lines, or branches, then move to the secondary lines, or smaller branches. Individual poles and power lines are repaired after the primary system is repaired, and each individual outage has to be restored one at a time based on individual circumstances. We can’t fix the leaves before the trunk.

We will continue to work 24/7 until all power is restored. We currently have 60 crews working to restore power, including contract crews that were called in from East Tennessee and Indiana. Unless new storms cause more damage today or tomorrow, we are hopeful to have all power restored within 24-48 hours.

We are empathetic with customers who are experiencing extended power outages and urge them to take precautions during this heat. If you have power, check on your neighbors, friends and family. We are encouraged by seeing some examples of Nashville pulling together to help each other during this time. NES wants to assure you that we are working as quickly as possible to get all power restored."

"We are in an oven, that's pretty much what it is," Warren said.

Since power has been out for an extended period of time, food in the fridge has spoiled.

"I'm cooking all my meat in my freezer today," Amick said, "I have an extension cord from my trailer to my truck and it's a very small inverter so I can run my fan to try to help keep me cool."

As neighbors checked on each other Sunday afternoon, they hoped power would be back on soon.

Amick said, "The main question, what about us on 2820 Dickerson road, what about us?"

NES said they hope to have all power restored by Tuesday at the latest.