Nashville, TENN. – Electric cooperatives across Tennessee continue to assess damage to their power grids following a significant icing event on Monday, Feb. 15. More than 20,000 co-op consumers remain without power Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 16. Crews from Tennessee co-ops and neighboring states are assisting in the recovery.

“The dangerously cold weather makes this a serious situation, and co-ops are doing everything they can to get power restored to everyone as quickly as possible,” says David Callis, executive vice president of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Damage from ice is widespread, and that will make restoration a slow process. Homeowners should be prepared for extended outages and take appropriate precautions. We commend the co-op crews who are battling these brutal conditions to serve their communities.”

Upper Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation in Carthage reports that more than 13,000 of their 51,000 consumers remain without power. The co-op is being assisted by

  • Eight lineworkers from Appalachian Electric Cooperative in New Market
  • Four lineworkers from Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative in Vonore
  • Four lineworkers from Tri-County Electric Membership Corporation in Lafayette
  • Five lineworkers from Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation in Young Harris, Ga.

Duck River Electric Membership Corporation in Shelbyville reports that 6,900 of their 77,000 consumers remain without power. The co-op is being assisted by

  • Ten lineworkers from Middle Tennessee Electric in Murfreesboro
  • Ten lineworkers from Holston Electric Cooperative in Rogersville
  • Six lineworkers from Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative in South Pittsburg
  • Six lineworkers from Covington Electric Cooperative in Andalusia, Al.
  • Seven lineworkers from Marshall Dekalb Electric Cooperative in Boaz, Al.
  • Four lineworkers from Wiregrass Electric Cooperative in Hartford, Al.

Photo by Mike Partin, Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Gov. Bill Lee tonight during his State of the State address announced plans for a $200 million investment to expand broadband access in Tennessee. 

“A significant, one-time investment, combined with significant private investment, will get broadband to just about every community in Tennessee,” said Lee. “To help us achieve our goal of every Tennessean having access to high-speed broadband, my budget recommends an investment of $200 million.” 

We commend Gov. Lee for taking bold steps to quickly bring internet access to those who need it most,” said Mike Knotts, vice president of government affairs with the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the state to expand broadband access in Tennessee.” 

Since the passage of the Broadband Accessibility Act just four years ago, Tennessee’s consumer-owned electric cooperatives have brought robust, fiber-based internet access to thousands of homes and businesses across the state. Co-ops are uniquely positioned to build infrastructure quickly and maximize the impact of state and federal grant funds. 

“Families and businesses don’t need broadband access six years from now, they need it today,” says Knotts. “In fact, they needed it years ago. The state’s electric co-ops understand the urgency, and we are moving quickly to respond. This historic investment announced tonight by Gov. Lee will bring broadband access to more homes in a shorter amount of time.”  

Gov. Lee also announced plans to invest $21 million in rural communities and distressed counties to support rural infrastructure, industrial site development, small business development and to revitalize small town main streets. 

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides leadership, advocacy and support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit or to learn more.