Winter Storms Slam Upper Cumberland

Back-to-back winter storms hit the Upper Cumberland last week—leaving thousands powerless in frigid temperatures.

After the start of the storm early last Monday morning, ice began to accumulate up to nearly two inches in some areas in the Upper Cumberland and it began weighing down powerlines and trees—causing many to snap.

Overton and Jackson Counties had outages summing up to nearly 4,300 combined on Tuesday evening, and outages continued off and on throughout both counties, many continuing through the weekend.

UCEMC officials reported ice is far more dreaded than snow because of its weight. Ice doesn’t “shed” itself off equipment like snow does until it eventually thaws.

“This unusual ice storm had a disastrous effect on our system because the ice accumulations we received exceeded our design standard set by the Rural Utilities Services and the National Electrical Safety Code,” a press release stated.

Good news came on Sunday evening as temperatures throughout the day increased, allowing for a regional thaw.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Citizen-Statesman.

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