NES: Hundreds still without power, largest outage in seven years

Posted at 4:25 PM, Jun 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 19:34:10-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — After severe weather made its way through Davidson County Saturday night, the area saw widespread power outages.

Nashville Electric Service released a statement Sunday afternoon saying they've restored power to 50,000 customers, but that 800 people are still without power as of Monday morning. The statement goes on to say that this is the largest power outage NES has seen in seven years. NES also says they've brought in crews from out of state to help restore power. They hope to have all power restored within 24-48 hours.

Nine of NES's best lineman also had to return from a state lineman competition in East Tennessee to help restore power. Crews are working 16 hours shifts with eight hours for rest to bring power back as quickly as possible.

"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."

Some areas such as Andrew Jackson Courts reportedly went without power for over 24 hours.

Power has since been restored to the low-income community. Several community leaders including Metro Councilman Freddie O'Connell and Mayor David Briley also helped deliver food to the area to help them recover.

NES said they had to prioritize restoring power to make it as quick as possible and allow the city to keep itself safe.

"When we have a storm, any time it’s making sure our first priority is our first responders and hospitals are restored are priority and of course our police stations, our fire stations, our hospitals and any healthcare facility," said Sylvia Smith, Vice President of Customer Services for NES.

You can report a power outage to NES by calling (615) 234-0000. If you have registered for text message service, you can also text "OUT" to 637797 to report an outage. Click here to view the NES outage map.