MEMPHIS – The potential for icy conditions over the next few days leads to the possibility of downed power lines and service disruptions over a wide area of western Tennessee and Kentucky. The Tennessee Valley Authority is mobilizing its resources to help minimize any impact on those who rely on the electricity it provides.
TVA and contractor crews are being pre-positioned in five staging areas to allow a rapid, coordinated response with crews from local power distributors. TVA generating facilities in potentially affected areas are also making preparations to safely maintain operations.
TVA’s emergency operations centers in Chattanooga, Knoxville and Nashville are on stand-by and are prepared to provide additional support if icy conditions affect a large area.
Taking early steps to ensure crews can be in the field quickly and effectively is a key part of TVA’s ability to reliably provide electricity to the region. TVA has maintained a 99.999 percent reliability rating for 14 years in a row.
If icy conditions do lead to downed power lines, it’s vital to remember these safety tips:
- Treat every downed power line as “energized” and potentially dangerous.
- Never touch a downed line, or any object that may be in contact with the line
- Immediately contact your local power company.
- If a power line falls across an occupied vehicle, stay in the vehicle, as it affords the best protection against any dangerous current. Use a cell phone to call for help.
- If the vehicle must be exited due to fire or another life-threatening condition, jump clear of the vehicle without touching any part of it. Then, “shuffle” or jump away from the area, keeping both feet on the ground at the same time to minimize the chance of electric shock.
- If someone makes contact with a live electric line, do not attempt to rescue them because you risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 for assistance.
With about 16,000 miles of transmission lines, TVA owns and operates one of the largest transmission systems in North America, including more than 1,000 individual interchange and interconnection points that move electric power from the generating plants where it is produced to distributors of TVA power and to industrial and federal customers across the region. It occupies more than 240,000 right-of-way acres that span TVA’s 80,000-square-mile service area.