In the wake of severe weather including at least one tornado that tore through the Volunteer Energy Cooperative service area Friday, 3,837 VEC customers remain without power as of 10:51 a.m. (Eastern Time) Sunday.
As many as 26,000 VEC customers lost power at some point Friday and seven VEC substations went down.
Damage is extremely severe in Hamilton County - particularly in the Ooltewah and Snow Hill areas and the Dalton Pike and Blue Springs areas inthe southern part of Bradley County also experienced extensive damage.
VEC President/CEO Rody Blevins said the restoration process has come to a very labor-intensive phase in the areas that received the heaviest damage. Tremendous amounts of debris and wreckage must be cleared in order to access VEC's damaged equipment.
VEC customers, whose homes have been damage to the extent that is it impossible to restore power safely, will have to complete repairs before electric service can resume.
VEC crews from across VEC's 17-county service area have converged on the scene to assist in repair efforts and they, along with all available contract crews, will continue working around the clock until all VEC customers are back online.
County-by-county outage numbers are:
Bradley County: 2,418
Hamilton County: 1,053
Polk County: 185
McMinn County: 146