Tennessee co-ops send volunteers to Virginia

NASHVILLE – Working jointly with other statewide electric cooperative organizations, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives are sending crews to Virginia to help restore electric service to those affected by severe storms on Friday and Saturday, June 29 and 30.

“Six Tennessee cooperatives are sending volunteer lineworkers and equipment to assist cooperatives in Virginia,” said David Callis, executive vice president and general manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “With record-setting heat in the area, it is critical that power be restored as soon as possible. Like residents in the affected areas, our lineworkers face some very long and very hot days ahead of them.”

Emergency work plans were put into place on Saturday morning, June 30, and crews from Tennessee headed for Virginia later that day. This cooperation is enabled through mutual aid agreements between electric cooperatives.

Assisting Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative in Mount Crawford, Va.:

  • five lineworkers from Mountain Electric Cooperative, Mountain City
  • four from Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative, Madisonville
  • five from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative, South Pittsburg

Assisting Central Virginia Electric Cooperative in Arrington, Va.:

  • 10 lineworkers from Powell Valley Electric Cooperative, New Tazewell
  • six from Plateau Electric Cooperative, Oneida

Assisting BARC Electric Cooperative in Millboro, Va.:

  • 10 lineworkers from Appalachian Electric Cooperative, New Market

Some Tennessee cooperatives received damage from the same storm system that impacted Virginia. Holston Electric Cooperative, Mountain Electric Cooperative, Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative and Volunteer Energy Cooperative service areas received wind-related storm damage over the weekend.

Holston Electric Cooperative and Powell Valley Electric Cooperative also had outages caused by a fire at TVA’s John Sevier generation plant. All service was restored on Friday evening. The John Sevier plant remains off-line, and TVA is requesting that northwest Tennessee residents conserve energy when possible until the plant resumes production and the high temperatures subside.

“We put our own members first. We only provide assistance to out-of-state co-ops after our own needs are met,” says Callis. “Sending crews and equipment to other states does represent a risk, but our cooperatives are always eager to help when possible.”

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association is a trade group representing the interests of Tennessee’s 23 electric distribution cooperatives and the 1.1 million members they serve.

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