NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — This week’s cold snap put a real strain on our electric grid. For a period of time Friday, the Tennessee Valley Authority even resorted to rolling blackouts for some customers.
When the storm swept in Thursday night, it not only brought bitter cold but also high winds. And it’s that wind that Amy Byers, marketing and public relations coordinator with Middle Tennessee Electric said caused problems.
“What it has primarily been is broken poles that again could have been caused by the wind, the downed power lines that again could have been caused by the winds,” said Byers.
Middle Tennessee Electric is one of dozens of local electric providers across Tennessee that receive energy from the Tennessee Valley Authority. To keep up with surging demand, at one point Friday, TVA implemented rolling blackouts when they announced that they want to, “reduce power supplies to certain local areas, which may create brief, intermittent power outages to homes and businesses.”
Just 24 hours earlier in an interview with News 2 Thursday, TVA Spokesperson Scott Brooks said they did not anticipate the grid to be under this level of strain, “We have a few other things where we can involve the general public where we need a little help. And we don’t expect we are going to get there in this particular storm.”
By Friday afternoon, TVA changed course again and backed off from rolling blackouts: “We are not asking local power companies to reduce load,” wrote TVA Spokesperson Ashton Davies in an emailed statement.
Still, electric providers say that we all must remain vigilant into the holiday weekend.
“This is a great day for puzzles, games – things that don’t require electricity. Let’s do those things today, and all work together to get through this initial cold spell we are having,” said Byers.