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Nashville group concerned with downed wires remaining a week after storms

Posted at 5:34 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-29 12:03:47-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Sixteen-hour days of non-stop work became an all too familiar routine for Nashville Electric Service employees following powerful mid-June thunderstorms.

Following the storms, grassroots group Gideon's Army walked through areas in North Nashville looking to see what streets still needed to be fixed.

They turned their attention to 27th Avenue North and Buchanan Street. Low-hanging AT&T wires blocked a driveway seven days after the storm.

"As concerned citizens, we thought we'd try to bring attention to the public that there is a potential risk here and we want to make sure that we're keeping everybody safe," member Timothy Hughes said.

Hughes questioned why it took nearly a week for crews to fix the low hanging cable problem. At first, it was unclear if the wires belonged to NES or AT&T and if the wires would hurt anyone.

"I'm just saying, if this was in Bellevue, if this was in Green Hills they wouldn't leave it like this," he said.

Hambino Godbody encouraged residents not to sit and wait for help during similar situations.

"The community, we got to be accountable for our own selves anyway, because we can't sit on our hands and wait for somebody to come and do something for us. We have to man up and woman up and do it ourselves and get the job done because we have the power to make it happen," Godbody said.

NES Vice President of Customer Services Sylvia Smith said crews had worked around the clock 11 of the last 13 days. Smaller streets like 24th Ave North may not be on a high priority response list.

"What we look at is the first priority --- is the hospitals, our health facilities, all of our emergency responders, police and of course fire department. From there we look at assessing the areas that have the largest magnitude and where we can get the most customers on by repairing our main infrastructure. Then we work down to our primary lines, our secondary lines into our neighborhoods, and then we go into these individual circumstances where it's one or two homes impacted by an individual transformer, or the individual poles or the individual customer," Smith said.

Smith said safety is the company's priority as well.

AT&T provided a statement to Newschannel 5:

We continue to work to repair affected equipment and reattach downed lines following recent severe weather in parts of the Nashville area. If residents have questions about our equipment, they can contact our customer service team at 1-800-288-2020. Following severe weather, we work as quickly and as safely as conditions allow to repair any affected equipment and restore service. We work with the local utility company and other providers in the area to ensure the least amount of disruption to services.

Anyone who sees low hanging wires in their area that is not affecting a customer's electricity may call the NES customer service number at 615-736-6900.

An AT&T lineman hanged the wires shortly after a few phone calls were made.