Emergency operations begin for East TN electric company

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Appalachian Electric Cooperative is in emergency operations status and requesting help from member agencies in case of an outage. Officials say they'll suspend normal operations to focus on the current load.

If the power goes out, Appalachian Electric Cooperative is asking customers to turn off heating equipment like heat pumps, electric furnaces, and space heaters as well as water heaters and leave them turned off for several minutes after electricity is restored.

“There are special challenges associated with restoring power under these extreme conditions,” says Appalachian Electric Cooperative Member Services Director Mitch Cain.

“The fact is, if a large number of folks whose power comes back on after an outage all try to re-warm their houses simultaneously, we’d likely find ourselves right back in an outage scenario. With the peak demand we’re anticipating, the ‘cold load pickup’ can be difficult, if it happens all at once,” he says.

“We appreciate this cooperation on the part of our members to ensure that we get the power back on quickly—and keep it on—in the event of an outage. We have line crews on stand-by and are preparing to handle the challenges that lie ahead,” Cain says.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says they expect high electricity demand on Monday and Tuesday.

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