June storms ‘almost looked like disaster zone’

A storm hit parts of Farragut and West Knox County Thursday night, June 16, with strong winds uprooting large trees and causing power outages.

“It almost looked like a disaster zone on the street level,” Shannon Littleton, Lenoir City Utilities Board general manager, said. He said trees, limbs and other types of debris from yards lay on roads.

“In some locations it was difficult for our trucks to get through,” he said.

Littleton said LCUB’s linemen generally employ various methods to get past obstacles such as trees. These methods include driving around them, driving over them with four-wheel drive vehicles, cutting through them, or getting out and walking while carrying the equipment on their backs.

“It’s a hard job, and they have to get there the best way they know how, so whatever it takes they’re going to get there,” he said.

“I’m very proud of our men and women that handle these type of situations. I truly believe that we’re the best in the business on storm restoration. This was a significant event,” he said.

Rather than a single incident, Littleton said strong straight-line winds and falling trees in different places caused several different power outages.

He said affected areas included Woodland Trace Drive, Lake Cove, Wood Harbor, Concord Woods and areas near Snyder Road. He said it took until 3 a.m., Friday, June 16, to restore power on the main affected lines. Other areas took longer to fix. “With the destruction we saw, I was very happy with the time it took to get power restored,” he said.

Littleton said LCUB dispatched crews immediately after reports of power disruptions in the area. He said between four and five crews with a total of 15 to 20 workers, responded.

In some instances in which the storm ripped out services, customers hired private electricians for repairs. “It came very quickly and it left very quickly, but it left a lot of destruction in its path,” Littleton said.

While he did not have an exact cost for the damage, he said it would probably cost several thousand dollars.

He said customers at higher elevations saw more destruction of power lines and property.

To report future power outages, Littleton said customers should call LCUB’s number 1-844-OUR-LCUB or 1-844-687-5282.