Chattanooga, TN (April 16, 2020; 4:30 a.m.) – Through continuing efforts, EPB has now restored power to about 38,000 customers who were impacted by tornados and severe weather on Sunday night. About 22,000 customers remain without power. The utility expects to return power to thousands of additional customers in the next 24 hours but estimates that total restoration may take until next Tuesday, April 21.
One of the ways EPB is speeding up the re-construction effort for customers is by bringing in additional line crews from other utilities through mutual aid agreements. As of Wednesday, April 16, a total of 258 crews with 1153 people are working the restoration.
“We know this is such a hard time for so many people. Tornadoes ravaging our area during a global pandemic,” said EPB spokesperson Scottie Summerlin. “People are stuck at home, trying to work and help their kids with school, with refrigerators and freezers stocked with food due to Covid-19. We understand people waiting for their power, internet and television services to return makes this even harder. Know that EPB is working tirelessly to restore those services.”
What can people do to help? “Please stay away from areas with damage. There are places all over our community with downed power lines and equipment that could still be energized because our utility crews haven’t been able to reach those areas yet,” said Summerlin. “EPB is following CDC guidelines during this Covid-19 crisis as well, so we’re asking everyone to stay at least six feet apart as much as possible.”
Each day EPB is working to get power back on to the most people possible in the shortest amount of time.
“We know customers without power, internet and television are frustrated and we appreciate their understanding and patience,” said Summerlin. “The storm caused catastrophic damage to a large amount of EPB equipment in the eastern part of Hamilton County. So, we’re having to do reconstruction in addition to restoration.”
Customers with questions are encouraged to go to EPB.com for the latest information including an outage map or call 423-648-1372. Customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Now that Hamilton County Schools are back in session after spring break, we want to remind the community about our free EPB Quick Connect WiFi hotspots at 24 locations around the county. Those locations can be found at epb.quickconnect.com. Three locations were damaged during the storm, and EPB will work to get those back up and running after other services are restored.
“We’re so proud of our community and how we pull together in times of crisis,” said Summerlin. “Thank you Gig City. Together we can get through this.”