TEMA reports 20K customers without power statewide, expects 1 to 3 days before power is fully restored

UCEMC customers urged to prep for extended power outages
Posted at 7:37 AM, Feb 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 00:03:11-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Power outages are still an issue for thousands across Middle Tennessee after a winter storm brought snow, freezing rain and sleet to the area. The Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation has urged its customers to prepare for "an extended outage situation."

Areas east of Interstate 65 saw more freezing rain than snow with this system and that has caused downed power lines and trees.

On Tuesday evening the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said about 20,000 customers across the state are without power and it may take one to three days before it is restored.

TEMA said the following counties reported outages:

  • 10,000 customers in Putnam County
  • 2,600 customers in Bedford County
  • 140 customers in Cannon County
  • 1,500 customers in Coffee County
  • 1,500 customers in Fentress County
  • 2,000 customers in Overton County
  • 800 customers in Moore County
  • 250 customers in Pickett County

As of Tuesday evening, UCEMC officials said about 15% of Upper Cumberland EMC’s 51,000 members remain without power. They said restoration is slowed by the sheer number of fallen trees downing power lines, blocking access roads, and impeding pole installation until special equipment clears a path for line workers.

Additional damage assessments from UCEMC district managers have pushed the restoration time frames forward. With the current weather situation, UCEMC said even members with restored power may later experience other outages.

“These weather conditions and additional damage assessments from UCEMC district managers are pushing the restoration timeframes forward,” UCEMC GM/CEO Jennifer Brogdon said in a press release. “With even more inclement weather systems moving in, those members with restored power now may later experience another outage. We’re asking our members to prepare for an extended outage situation.”

According to UCEMC, crews from Tri-County, Ft. Loudon, Blue Ridge EMC, and Appalachia are helping in the restoration effort.

They said in some areas, power restoration is being hindered by the "sheer number of fallen trees over power lines, blocking access roads, impeding pole installation and line replacement until other diggers, bucket trucks, and crews are brought in from contractors to clear the way for continued repairs today."

The following warming shelters are open:

  • DeKalb County – Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 201 S. College St., Smithville, TN
  • Dickson County – YMCA Dickson County, 225 Henslee Dr., Dickson, TN
  • Giles County – Elkton Fire Department, 164 main St., Prospect, TN
  • Giles County – Giles County Fire & Rescue Squad, 188 Oak Grove Rd., Goodspring, TN
  • Henry County – Inman Middle School, 400 Harrison Street, Paris, TN
  • Putnam County – First Baptist Church, 18 S. Walnut Ave., Cookeville, TN
  • Shelby County – Hollywood Community Center, 1560 N. Hollywood Street Memphis, TN
  • Shelby County - Ruth Tate Senior Center, 1640 Marjorie Street, Memphis, TN
  • Weakley County – University of Tennessee at Martin Student Life Center, 199 Moody St., Martin, TN

According to UCEMC, areas still reporting outages include:


  • All of Allons
  • Hwy 136- waterloo area and greater Hilham area have isolated areas (Standing stone and Turkey Town)
  • Rickman - has Sulfer community and Windel community areas out.
  • Monterey area- (isolated outages- Cedar Chapel and Rock Springs areas, Thorn Gap area)
  • Rock Crusher area

The Monroe substation is back on, but 800-1000 are still reporting outages.

In the Carthage area, 600 members are out:

  • Lancaster area
  • Dell Ridge area

Cookeville, 10-11,000 report outages:

  • Algood areas- HWY 70 East, and downtown.
  • Working on Quinland lake road from Fisk Rd to HWY 111 (crews presently in this area.)
  • Gainesboro Grade
  • Double springs
  • Silverpoint
  • Algood
  • South Bangham
  • Poplar grove
  • Buck and Brotherton Mountain

Priorities due to population:

  • Buck Mountain and Brotherton Mountain.
  • Algood area - Working on Quinland lake road from Fisk to HWY 111 (crews are in that area)
  • Baxter – HWY 70 from 1st Ave in Baxter to Buffalo Valley Road and Silver Point. Gainesboro
  • Whites bend, and Flynn's Lick.
  • Haden Burge Community
  • War trace Community
  • Seven Nobbs Community
  • Sugar Creek Community

Approximately 1,300 total members out.

Total Outages: 13,700

UCEMC members calling to report outages at 1-800-261-2940 may experience delays due to the high number of calls. Members can also report outages within the districts section of or Messenger on the official UCEMC Facebook page.

Duck River Electric is reporting thousands of outages across Bedford, Coffee, and Marshall counties. At one point Tuesday morning, that number was at 35,000.

In the Metro Nashville area, power outages have been spotty. Nashville Electric Service said it’s fully staffed to respond to any outages and also has crews on standby if more help is needed. Additionally, NES said crews came in over the weekend to prepare bucket trucks with extra equipment for the storm response.

If you experience a power outage, report it through or by calling 615-234-0000 or by texting “OUT” to 637797 (NESPWR) if you’ve enabled the texting function on your account.

Residents are urged to charge their phones/other devices and have an emergency kit -- containing non-perishable food, water, blankets and flashlights with fresh batteries -- ready.