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Fri, Nov 28, 2014

Electric company preparing for ice storm

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Officials with the Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation said employees are preparing for possible icy conditions in the wake of a storm that is expected to pass through the area Monday night.

“If you wait until the storm hits,” said Todd Palmer, communications coordinator for Middle Tennessee Electric, “it makes power restoration a lot harder and take a lot longer. Our on-call crews are ready to work through the night if they have to and do whatever it takes to get power restored, should inclement weather hit this evening.”

In a press release sent out Monday afternoon, Palmer said crews are making sure company trucks have plenty of fuel, chainsaws for tree cutting if necessary are ready, and all other tools and equipment for line repair are loaded onto company trucks.

“The National Weather Service in Nashville is calling for most of the icy conditions to be west of our service area,” Palmer said, “however, they are reporting that we could see some light accumulations here. We have a plan in place and are ready regardless.”

The cooperative has a tree trimming program that cuts back trees on a yearly basis to keep them from encroaching into the utilities power lines, just for reasons such as this, he said.

“Eight out of ten times we lose power during a storm,” Palmer said. “It’s because a tree or limb, especially if there is ice, comes in to contact with the power lines.

“This is why we have to keep our rights-of-way cleared in and around our lines.”

Palmer is encouraging members to stay away from downed power lines and to report them immediately to the electric cooperative by calling 1-877-777-9020.

Middle Tennessee Electric, one of the nation's largest electric distribution cooperatives, serves approximately 190,000 members in Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Cannon counties.

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Ice Storm, MTEMC, Weather
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