NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Power loss during Thursday’s severe weather paled in comparison to what Middle Tennessee experienced in December.

Two months ago, numerous localities around the Volunteer State — including Nashville — dealt with historic rolling blackouts over the Christmas weekend.

At its board meeting in the weeks afterward, Nashville Electric Service (NES) discussed what went wrong with the grid in the arctic blast.

As the arctic blast approached Middle Tennessee, NES said it prepared to keep the power on by scheduling extra crews days in advance. Still, the 2022 storm was too powerful, forcing NES to take historic steps.

“This was the first time in NES and TVA history step 50 of the ELCP (Electric Load Curtailment Plan) had to be initiated, and we hope that it’s the last time,” said Don Hill, chief engineer with NES.

The ELCP is a step-by-step procedure. Step 20 is when customers voluntarily use less power, but that step was not enough for this storm. With temperatures dropping 50 degrees in a matter of hours, NES went to step 50 — an unprecedented move, which at one point involved incrementally turning off the power for 323,000 customers.

During this time, NES said communication with customers also became a real challenge.

“A lot of these events happened rather quickly over a short period of time, so the communication is an area we can certainly improve on,” said Hill.

In less than four days, NES crews worked 5,400 outages and replaced 145 transformers and eight broken poles.

Adding to the challenge, 21,000 NES customers lost power on Nashville’s southside when the Cane Ridge substation caught fire.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) — which provides power to 10 million people in parts of seven Southern states — had its own issues. A number of its power plants, especially natural gas, struggled to keep up with the huge power demand.

“We kept thinking that we had the situation handled, and then something else would get thrown at us, and it turned out we didn’t. And then ultimately, by the time we realized how that was gonna play out, it was on us,” said Ernie Peterson with the TVA.

The TVA announced in mid-January it appointed an independent panel to look into power failures that resulted in the decision to implement the rolling blackouts amid the dangerously cold December conditions.