Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Area News

January 9, 2014

Record low brings power outages

CROSSVILLE — Bitter cold temperatures across the Volunteer Energy Cooperative's 17-county service area have led to record demands for for energy.

That high demand has also caused "blink" and scattered outages across the region. "Blink" outages have been caused by equipment overheating due to the extremely high demand for electricity. More serious outages have occurred when overheated power lines sag into neutral or ground lines.

Robert McCarty, communications coordinator for VEC, said, "Crews have been working throughout the night to keep the power flowing."

Tuesday morning, there were eight outages reported in Cumberland County, with outages also reported in Fentress, Hamilton, Bradley, Meigs and Polk counties.

McCarty said VEC apologizes for any inconvenience and added, "Crews will remain on the job as long as necessary to restore power to every VEC customer."

The record cold, dipping below the 3 degrees recorded in 1954 to a frigid -2 Monday according to the National Climatic Data Center, comes from a polar vortex.

"The polar vortex is a high pressure system that normally sits near the North Pole," explained Crossville Meteorologist Steve Norris. "It's an unusual situation, but it has been displaced and pushed down, all the way to the U.S.-Canadian border. When that happens, we get extreme bitter cold."

It's the coldest temperatures in almost 20 years, Norris said, and in fact, a new record was set Tuesday, with people around the county reporting temperatures from -8 to -10, shattering a 1970 record low for Jan. 6 of -4.

"No one knows why these shifts happen," Norris said, adding that it was impossible to forecast if the polar vortex would return this winter, but it was already moving out of the area Tuesday afternoon.

"The winds have become more southerly today, warming things up," Norris said Tuesday.

The warmer weather will bring some above normal highs in coming days, with a high near 60 expected this weekend.

"A pressure system strong enough to bring those record lows is also strong enough to bring in much warmer temperatures, as well," he explained.

But the record lows, with a windchill at times as low as 20-below zero and arctic air becoming snow, has been amazing to watch, Norris said. Those record lows have, however, increased the demand for power. TVA had a preliminary peak power demand of 32,460 megawatts at 9 a.m. EST Tuesday, with average temperatures of 4 degrees. The record winter power demand is 32,572 megawatts set Jan. 16, 2009, when temperatures averaged 9 degrees. The all-time record is 33,482 megawatts set Aug. 16, 2007, when temperatures averaged 102 degrees.

TVA has been preparing for increased demands for power, asking commercial and industrial customers to reduce demand to ensure a stable supply of power to its customers. People are asked to turn off lights and electrical devices in unoccupied rooms and to postpone or limit hot water use until weather begins to warm. At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, TVA reported it passed its expected power peak for the day.

Sunday, TVA, which is the electricity supplier for 155 power companies in the region, issued a "Power Supply Alert," a precaution that an unexpected shutdown of a large generating unit or transmission system interchange could reduce power supply reserves. However, the utility supplier was not expecting a record demand and anticipated being able to meet the increased power needs of customers.

The arctic air is very dangerous, with warnings issued about the dangers of frostbite and hypothermia. With the mercury hovering close to zero, shelters were offered to those needing a place to warm up. At Homestead Methodist Church, the church invited everyone to "Come Inn From the Cold" with hot food and activities on Monday and Tuesday.

Of course, winter weather also brings with it a danger of falls on slippery surfaces and wrecks. Cumberland Medical Center reported there had been three patients treated for injuries in traffic accidents and one treated for injuries in a fall on ice. 

1
Text Only
Area News
  • Panel OKs budget amendments

    The Cumberland County Budget Committee approved a $134,506 budget amendment for the Cumberland County Solid Waste Department in order to accept a grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for enhanced waste oil collection.

    April 16, 2014

  • Council votes to seek RFQs for wastewater operation

    The city of Crossville has had a 20-year relationship with Veolia Water, the contractor that currently operates the wastewater treatment plant for the city, and while council members say they don't have a problem with the company's service, they have voted to send out requests for qualifications (RFQ) to determine if they have the best company operating the facility.

    April 16, 2014

  • Police: Couple sets up house in Tansi pool

    A Lake Tansi couple who suddenly found themselves without shelter set up a temporary home in an indoor pool area at the resort/retirement community, according to police arrest reports.

    April 16, 2014

  • certifying machines.jpg Certifying early voting machines

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mobile Vet Center in town Wednesday

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will have a Mobile Vet Center (MVC) in Crossville at the Cumberland County Community Complex 1398 Livingston Rd. on Wednesday, April 16. MVC 844 will be at the Community Complex from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    April 15, 2014

  • The Palm Tree Revisited

    Palm Sunday is right around the corner. Since we don't have palm trees in our neck of the woods, there probably aren't many people who think about their unique characteristics. Several years ago I read a devotional by Dr. Cecil A. Fayard Jr., “The Palm Tree Revisited,” and want to share some highlights.

    April 15, 2014

  • Crossville breakfast rotary.jpg Rotarians support United Fund

    On Wednesday, March 26, Crossville Breakfast Rotary President Jeff Vires presented a $1,000 check from the Crossville Breakfast Rotary Club to Carmen Wyatt, board president of United Fund, and Holly Neal, executive director of the United Fund. The United Fund of Cumberland County, Inc. provides administrative and other central services for the public and private health, welfare, character building and recreation, education service, charitable and philanthropic agencies and community organizations and the general public of Crossville, Cumberland County and the vicinity.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • tree of distinction.jpg Tree of Distinction?

    In the articles on Trees of Distinction, the Crossville Tree Board usually highlights a tree in the community that is an exemplary specimen of the species.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bids OK'd for used oil collection program

    Several bids were approved recently by the Cumberland County Financial Management Committee for the purchase and installation of equipment for a used oil collecting program from an oil grant awarded by the state for the county's solid waste and recycling department.

    April 14, 2014

  • No show burglary defendant pleads to 8 years

    A Cumberland County man who at least twice failed to appear in court for his trial on burglary and theft charges pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Criminal Court and received an eight-year prison sentence.

    April 14, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
Parade
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar