Sevier Co. power crews still at work after biggest power outage ever

The worst of it was on Monday when nearly 34,000 customers were without power in Sevier Co.
Working Around the Clock to Restore Power Ahead of the Next Storm
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 7:30 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SEVIERVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 10,000 people remain without power in Sevier Co., more than 48 hours since the weather event caused residents to lose electricity.

The worst of it was on Monday when nearly 34,000 customers were without power.

“It’s kind of like a domino effect. You know a lot of broke poles. Circuits are down,” said Allen Robbins, the general manger of Sevier County Electric.

The heavy, wet snow that can compact and stick on trees and power lines is “what causes our biggest problem.”

Pine trees, cedars and evergreens were all impacted.

“We’ve seen a lot of hardwoods that are perfectly fine but they you know the weight has just toppled them over,” said Robbins.

WVLT News’ Ashley Bohle rode along with Nathan Dunn, a meter reader, to get a first-hand look at restorations.

“You can’t assess you know when a tree is going to fall because if it uproots, how do you know,” said Dunn.

He said crews can’t turn the line back on until they cut everything that’s touching the line.

In some spots, crews cut down as many as 60 trees and didn’t even get halfway.

“They spent hours and didn’t get anybody on because of all the work that was being done before we could actually do the work,” said Robbins.

Robbins flew in a helicopter for an aerial view of the damage.

“We’re doing all we can to get everybody back on as quickly as possible. And just adding a little bit of extra effort because of this looming weather even that looks like it’s going to impact us tomorrow.”

More than 200 linemen continue to work as fast as they can along with more than 50 tree-trimmers. Some of those helping have been called in from Georgia and North Carolina.

Copyright 2022 WVLT. All rights reserved.