Tullahoma Utilities Authority (TUA) has received a national commendation from the American Public Power Association for its support in electric power restoration efforts in Clarksville, Tennessee.
On October 27, 2019, TUA sent a four-man crew to assist the Clarksville Department of Energy (CDE), which suffered widespread outages as a result of an Oct. 26 storm.
The storm, with wind guests up to 75 mph, caused the most distribution damage to the CDE Lightband system in the company’s history, leaving more than 32,000 of its 70,000 customers without power. More than 60 downed or broken poles and countless trees and limbs made access to electrical lines difficult. Senior Journeyman Derek Harris, Journeyman Lineman Kyle Riddle and Steven Mantooth and Lineman Apprentice Brock Watson answered the call to help.
“These guys are just eager and willing at any time to leave their families and go off to do this,” said TUA Electric Operations Supervisor David Johnson. “They love to go and help out. Usually, I have more who are willing to go than I am allowed to send, because we have to take care of our system at home, too.”
In total, the restoration effort took seven days and 55 electric crews, including crews from Murfreesboro, Gallatin and Cookeville. The Tullahoma linemen returned home Oct. 31.
“TUA is glad to assist our sister electric systems when they have emergency needs,” said TUA President Brian Skelton. “Linemen thrive on getting the lights back on, and TUA’s linemen excel in these situations. TUA has experienced mutual aid assistance as recently at the 2016 tornado, and we are glad to do our part when other systems need our help.”
Tullahoma Utilities Authority participates in the American Public Power Association’s Mutual Aid Network, which coordinates with utilities and authorities during widespread power outages.