Forecasters warn that a second wintery blast of snow, sleet and freezing rain is headed toward Middle Tennessee. The threat appears highest for areas just recovering from ice damage and power outages.
Ice storm warnings are posted for much of central Tennessee Friday through early Saturday morning.
On Thursday, Duck River EMC finished restoring power to the last of the 13,700 members affected by outages from Monday’s storm. Mutual aid crews were sent home, and the co-op stood down from emergency footing that had been maintained since before the wintery mix coated power lines and trees with ice anywhere from a quarter- to a half-inch thick.
With temperatures well below freezing all week, much of the ice accumulation has not melted.
“If we receive even more freezing rain, the buildup of ice could cause a new round of power outages and other problems,” said DREMC President and CEO Michael Watson.
Friday’s wintery forecast for the DREMC service territory starts with snow that will turn to sleet and then freezing rain, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
“Significant ice accumulation is possible, especially (in the) northeast one-fourth of Middle Tennessee” on Friday night, NWS said in its Feb. 19 weather impacts briefing. The freezing rain, which is the greatest concern for electric utilities, is timed to arrive between 6 and 9 p.m. this evening.
“We certainly encourage Duck River Electric members to be aware of this second threat of power outages and prepared in case we see a repeat of what happened earlier this week,” Watson said.