Tennessee families go hours without power in subfreezing temps

WSMV's Courtney Allen spoke to families who spent hours without power on a frigid Friday.
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 10:26 PM CST
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ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WSMV) – Kim Freeman, her husband and 3-year-old son were in the dark for more than seven hours after losing power Friday morning due to the winter storm.

“He got to open a little tiny present early because it was a rough day,” Freeman said of her son. “I was supposed to clean my house and bake cookies for Santa today, and I can’t do those things.”

Every candle in their Antioch home was lit, and they wore several layers of clothing.

“Trying to keep him warm is the biggest worry,” Freeman said. “He doesn’t want to stay still under the blanket like I do.”

While Freeman said they had a friend’s warm home to go to, Richard Kirby-Quarantello isn’t as lucky.

“Our only family that could house us is in Nolensville, and they don’t have power either,” Kirby-Quarantello said.

Kirby-Quarantello lives in the Cane Ridge area. Friday afternoon, Nashville Electric Service said they expected to restore power there by 4:30 p.m. That did not happen.

“We are understandably upset,” Kirby-Quarantello said. “We are supposed to host Christmas Eve for 20 people tomorrow, so hopefully we can do that.”

Nashville Electric Service told WSMV 4 while crews are working around the clock, not everyone will get power back on by the end of the day.

“We always encourage people to have an emergency kit to be able to manage,” Jack Baxter with NES said. “You can always contact the OEM if you need some sort of specific assistance.”

The Freeman family said despite the power being out, they are thankful for each other.

“A holiday is a holiday,” Freeman said. “Health and safety come first. Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect. We just have to be together.”

The Freemans and Kirby-Quarantello said they both got power back on late Friday night. NES said as of 10 p.m. Friday, fewer than 7,000 people remained without power. That’s a drop from the 72,000 that were in the dark during the storm’s peak.

About 16 NES crews will continue to work through the night to restore power.