Planned power outages continue despite extreme heat

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 4:25 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Nashville Electric Service customers were without power Tuesday while crews worked to perform maintenance and upgrade equipment. It was the first of five planned outages across the Metro area this week that will continue despite the expected extreme heat.

Neighbors on Richland Avenue, including Sharon Sandahl, said they were expecting the outage because of warning calls from NES and posts in a community social media group. Sandahl prepared for the outage by pulling her car into the street to prevent it from getting stuck behind an electric gate and lowering her thermostat to 68 before the electricity was cut off.

“Our house is still pretty cool because it’s overcast today,” Sandhal said. “Just obviously no makeup, very natural today; the house is dark except for the windows and candles.”

NES crews on the scene said the outage was caused by tree trimming and other construction work happening near power lines in the neighborhood. The outage ensured everyone remained safe while the work was completed.

NES said planned outages are a crucial part of routine maintenance and improvements for NES and all utilities. While NES always tries to minimize disruptions to customers, there are times when a repair is urgent, or equipment needs to be replaced for service to continue. Even though these events are planned, NES considers extreme weather and tries to reschedule maintenance outages when possible.

An outage is planned for up to eight hours on Thursday night for 10th Avenue in North Nashville. Many residents there told WSMV they didn’t know they were set to lose power and would likely have to make plans without access to air conditioning and lights.

“It’s not great,” Matt Remke said. “I have plenty of food I like to keep refrigerated and available to eat the next day. I work from home on my computer, and it would be nice Thursday night if I wanted to work some overtime past 7 p.m. I don’t have that option anymore now. I could potentially go somewhere else to do it, but it would be nice to work from my desk where I am used to working.”

Remke said he is thankful the outage is not happening during the day, but he is upset a utility he pays for is going out when dangerous heat is forecasted.

“In the middle of July is a suboptimal time to be doing this maintenance,” Remke said. “Yeah, that’s unfortunate when it’s 100 degrees plus all week. It would’ve been a lot better if it was in April.”

Sandahl agreed that it would be best for the outage to happen in cooler months, but she understands the need for essential maintenance to happen. Her power was off for around four hours on Tuesday morning, and she is concerned other people might be unable to withstand the heat.

“Year-round planned maintenance outages are necessary to replace poles and other equipment, to trim or remove trees/vegetation near equipment, or to allow customers to repair their own equipment,” an NES spokesperson said in a statement. “They are a crucial part of our operations and safety plan and are sometimes required during warm weather months to proactively correct issues so we can continue to provide reliable power to all customers.”

For a complete list of the following planned outages, click here.

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