About 2,000 customers served by the Elizabethton Electric Department were without power early Monday morning due to powerful storms that came through Carter County which followed a weekend of excessive heat.
A severe thunderstorm, with damaging winds and cloud-to-ground lightning, began moving through Carter County’s west end around 12:30 a.m. Monday and a warning associated with the storm was cancelled as the storm left the Roan Mountain area around 1 a.m.
EED General Manager Rob Toney said that at the peak, there were approximately 2,000 customers without power. The peak came at approximately 2 a.m. Toney said most of the outages were reported in Milligan, Watauga, Bullocks Hollow, Stoney Creek and Siam.
By 4 p.m. Monday, only 50 customers remained without electricity. Toney said he expected all power to be restored by Monday evening. All available local EED crews worked to restore the power. Toney said no outside assistance was used as most had gone to Virginia to restore power where weekend storms knocked out power to thousands.
The outages come at a time of record heat. Over the weekend, temperatures in Elizabethton and other sections of Northeast Tennessee surpassed 100 degrees. The heat wave is expected to continue through the week, as temperatures remain in the 90s.
Toney noted that the EED was not affected by the Tennessee Valley Authority’s recent request that customers in Johnson City, Erwin and Greeneville reduce electricity use. The EED manager said customers in those Northeast Tennessee districts were asked to reduce electricity use due to a fire at the John Sevier switchyard.
As temperatures soared above 100 degrees, the TVA, Johnson City Power Board and Greeneville Light and Power issued news releases asking customers to reduce electrical use during peak times of the heat wave, between 3 and 9 p.m. The request was cancelled on Monday because the TVA was able to make some repairs to the switchyard.
“The most important thing consumers can do is pre-cool their homes after 9 p.m. and through early morning,” the TVA press release stated. “It is more efficient to pre-cool at night to temperatures in the mid 60s then turn up air conditioning to 78 degrees between 3-9 p.m. This will keep customers comfortable and reduce electrical usage.”
The TVA also recommended customers postpone using electric appliances and turn off unnecessary lights and other electrical equipment.
Toney said the local electric system stood up well during this weekend’s excessive heat. The EED has upgraded its entire system over the past couple years and has managed to remain operable.
“We’ve been pretty lucky,” Toney said.
Temperatures for the rest of the week are expected to remain in the low 90s, according to the National Weather Service. A chance of thunderstorms is in the forecast every day through the weekend.