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Ice Storm Wreaks Havoc

Although the ice and snow are beautiful in sight, it has proven to be dangerous and troublesome after last week’s back-to-back winter storms—leaving thousands powerless in the frigid temperatures.

After the start of the storm early last Monday morning, ice began to accumulate up to nearly two inches in some areas in the Upper Cumberland and it began weighing down powerlines and trees—causing many to snap.

Overton and Jackson Counties had outages summing up to nearly 4,300 combined on Tuesday evening and outages continued off and on throughout both counties, many continuing through the weekend.

UCEMC officials reported ice is far more dreaded than snow because of its weight. Ice doesn’t “shed” itself off the equipment like snow does until it eventually thaws.

“This unusual ice storm had a disastrous effect on our system because the ice accumulations we received exceeded our design standard set by the Rural Utilities Services and the National Electrical Safety Code,” a press release stated.

Good news came on Sunday evening as temperatures throughout the day increased, allowing for a regional thaw.

“Unfortunately, we can probably expect a few more days of tree limbs breaking and falling. The thaw will also produce wet soil, further weakening some trees’ roots, causing them to fall. But now, the news we’ve all been waiting for: more often than not, repairs made to the main lines will stick, and we will be able to restore other members served by feeder lines from there,” the release stated.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of this week’s Jackson County Sentinel.

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