Seeing Is Believing Last Week’s Storm Damage
One description is that it looked like a war zone in some Upper Cumberland areas last week. Once the snow and ice melted, those of us who aren’t lineworkers ventured out of our homes and looked around. If you live in town, you might not have seen that much damage from the storm at first glance. But other areas told a different story. Bowing street lights, hundreds of limbs littering the ground like matchsticks, some of them blocking utility access roads. Snapped power poles were abundant in some places.
This is what UCEMC lineworkers faced as they continued to restore power to the remaining members who were without power last week. Right of Way crews stayed far ahead of lineworkers to clear the path of hundreds of trees that snapped in the cold. Poles with transformers and lines still attached fell, street lights laid on the ground. This winter weather system packed all the punch of a hurricane without the water. Heavy ice and snow left behind damage similar to a tornado, except that damage was more widespread.
Crews from Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation, Ft. Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation, and Appalachian Electric Cooperative assisted the UCEMC crews restoration effort, which narrowed down to the scattered, more isolated areas later in the week. In the Livingston District, power restoration was hampered by the sheer number of fallen trees over power lines in more rural areas., blocking access roads, impeding pole installation, and line replacement. Diggers, bucket trucks, and crews faced more rugged terrain and extensive damage as restoration work reached into the scattered outages along hills and remote, unpaved roads.
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