By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
Putnam County – The ice storm of the past two days has left Putnam County reeling. Roads, water and electricity have all been major concerns for local residents. Here is the latest updates on these critical situations.
Main roads across the county are clear, but side and back roads are still slick and hazardous. Falling trees are still a hazard.
Water is currently out on Brotherton Mountain due to the power outage at Algood’s pumping station. They are working on getting a generator hooked up and hope to have the water back on shortly.
Cookeville City Electric is reporting over 1,400 customers still without power. The sections still out have many trees down and it has been slow moving for crews. City Electric Officials have called in power crews from other areas to help restore power, but progress has been slow with the extremely cold temps and number of trees down. They will continue to work through the night. To report an outage in Cookeville, you can call 931-526-7411 or visit the outage page at: https://www.cookeville-tn.gov/electric
Volunteer Electric is currently showing no outages in Putnam County. To report an outage with Volunteer Electric you can call 931-839-2217. They also have an outage page located at: https://ebill.vec.org/maps/public/OutageWebMap/…
UCEMC is reporting approximately 10,000 customers without power in Putnam County. They have made progress today bringing back on Algood and areas around it like White Plains. At the same time they have a new outage now on Hwy 70 in the Plunk Whitson, Peach Orchard Rd area. All of the other areas earlier reported are still out which includes: Buck Mountain, Brotherton Mountain, Baxter, Bangham/North of Cookeville, Quinland Lake and Hwy 111 area, Gainesboro Grade, Silverpoint, Popular Grove. That is not all inclusive, but some of the larger areas. UCEMC has a meter network that allows them to know if your power is out.
UCEMC officials are asking everyone to make plans for an “Extended Outage Situation” which means it could be days on some areas getting power back, depending on the next weather system and temps. Some areas could be back on tonight, tomorrow or it could be longer according to UCEMC. The number of trees that are down and the frigid temperatures are making the restoration very slow.
Crews from Tri-County Electric Member Corporation, Ft. Loudon Electric Cooperative, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation and Appalachia Electric Cooperative are assisting in the restoration effort. In some areas, power restoration is hampered by the sheer number of fallen trees over power lines, impeding pole installation and line replacement until additional diggers, bucket trucks and crews are brought in from contractors to clear the way for continued repairs.
UCEMC now has its own call center to report outages. You can report an outage by calling 800-261-2940, going on the UCEMC Facebook page or my emailing from the UCEMC website. Please do not call 911 or our dispatch center, they do not have any info on the outages. UCEMC has its own website for outages at: https://www.ucemc.com/outages/cookeville-district.