Several East Tennessee electric power workers are in Virginia, helping to restore power in areas hit hard by severe storms this weekend.
"Six Tennessee cooperatives are sending volunteer lineworkers and equipment to assist cooperatives in Virginia," said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. "With record-setting heat in the area, it is critical that power be restored as soon as possible. Like residents in the affected areas, our lineworkers face some very long and very hot days ahead of them."
Emergency work plans were put into place on Saturday morning, June 30, and crews from Tennessee headed for Virginia later that day. This cooperation is enabled through mutual aid agreements between electric cooperatives.
Assisting Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative in Mount Crawford, Va.:
- four from Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Madisonville
- five from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, South Pittsburg
- five lineworkers from Mountain Electric Cooperative, Mountain City
Assisting Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in Arrington, Va.:
- 10 lineworkers from Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, New Tazewell
- six from Plateau Electric Cooperative, Oneida
Assisting BARC Electric Cooperative in Millboro, Va.:
- 10 lineworkers from Appalachian Electric Cooperative, New Market
Some Tennessee cooperatives received damage from the same storm system that impacted Virginia. Holston Electric Cooperative, Mountain Electric Cooperative, Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative and Volunteer Energy Cooperative service areas received wind-related storm damage over the weekend.
Holston Electric Cooperative and Powell Valley Electric Cooperative also had outages caused by a fire at TVA's John Sevier generation plant. All service was restored on Friday evening.
"We put our own members first. We only provide assistance to out-of-state co-ops after our own needs are met," says Callis. "Sending crews and equipment to other states does represent a risk, but our cooperatives are always eager to help when possible."
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade group representing the interests of Tennessee's 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million members they serve.