To All Customers
Within 70 Minutes
BY SARAH GREGORY
About 16,500 Greeneville and Greene County residents found themselves suddenly without electricity Monday when an aging cable failed at the Greeneville Light & Power System's (GL&PS) Industrial Substation on Hal Henard Road.
Loss of power at the substation resulted in widespread outages in the western part of Greeneville and Greene County, affecting 16,502 customers in all.
Western Greeneville, including at least part of the downtown area, was affected.
Areas around the Asheville Highway, Mosheim, Mohawk, and other areas -- some north of Interstate 81 -- were also without electric service.
Crews quickly began working to re-route power through other substations, and about 10 minutes after the outage began, some customers regained electric service.
"The good news," said General Manager Bill Carroll, was that power to more than 12,000 customers was restored within 43 minutes.
"We had everybody on within an hour and seven minutes," he added.
At the time of the outage, Carroll said, both GL&PS and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) believed the cause to be a "dropped" delivery point -- a problem on TVA's end.
Further inspection, however, revealed that a cable connected to the Industrial Substation in 1979 was the root of the problem.
"An old underground cable failed and took that station out," Carroll explained.
"It was not TVA's fault after all. They thought it was, and we thought it was, but we just had bad information at first.
"We don't want to blame anybody where there's no blame to be had," he said.