Several bands of severe weather passed through the Volunteer Energy Cooperative service area early Friday afternoon and Friday evening. At the height of the storm about 25,000 VEC customers lost power.
The damage is extensive in McMinn, Bradley, Polk, and Hamilton counties. As of 9:11 p.m. (Eastern TimeTime) about 7,200 VEC customers remain without power including 2,879 customers in Bradley County, 1,216 in Polk County, 2,684 in Hamilton County, and 145 in McMinn County.
TVA transmission lines failed at six VEC substations, but power has been restored to all of these substations.
Some of the hard hit areas include south Bradley County including the Dalton Pike and Blue Springs areas; Hamilton County including the Apison and McDonald areas and east to Polk County. Severe weather is also affecting Cumberland County.
Complete damage assessments are still under way.
VEC crews and contract crews will be working non-stop through the night and afterwards until all customers are back online. However, it is expected that some customers could remain without power until Sunday.
VEC Vice President of Operations CLyde Jolly apologized for any inconveniences the outages may cause. He added that VEC crews and contract crews will work around the clock until every VEC customer's power is restored.