Report from Murfreesboro Electric:
The Ice Storm that hit our service area on Monday, February 16th, was the first significant ice event MED has experienced since the Ice Storm of February 1994. We learned a lot of valuable lessons during the '94 storm. The most important one was that having an aggressive tree trimming program would significantly reduce outages during icing events.
In 2005, MED implemented a new aggressive tree trimming program. "This program has drastically reduced outages caused by trees coming into contact with the distribution lines" said Jackie Whitaker, Director of Operations for Murfreesboro Electric Department. "The real test for our Tree Trimming Program came Monday."
During the 1994 Ice Storm it took 72 hours to get power restored. Monday's storm began causing problems on MED's system around noon when a circuit out of the MTSU Substation locked out of service. The outage affected the Rutherford Blvd, Greenland Dr., and Old Lascassas Rd. areas. Power was restored in approximately 55 minutes and affected around 1000 customers. At 4:29 p.m., a circuit out of the East Murfreesboro Substation locked out. This outage affected the Dill Lane, Sherrill Blvd., Minerva Dr., Mercury Blvd., Baird Lane, and Castle Street areas. Power was restored in approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes. The extended outage time was due to the number of trees that had to be removed before power could be restored. This outage affected around 1500 customers.
In addition to these two major outages, there were numerous scattered outages all over town throughout the day and night. These outages were caused by ice building on the tree limbs causing them to fall onto the power lines. MED and contract crews worked around the clock to get power restored. MED estimated that approximately 2800 customers were affected by this storm. As of Wednesday morning only 30 customers remained without power and these were homes that need an electrician to repair their service entrance before power could be reconnected to the home. Restoration time for this event was approximately 32 hours which is a significant improvement over the 1994 Ice Storm.
If there are any customers that are still without power which have not made contact with MED, we request they call 615-893-5514 to report their status.
Murfreesboro Electric employees worked diligently and safely to restore power to our customers. We would like to thank our customers for all the kind words, patience and understanding during this event. In addition, MED would like to thank Groves Construction crews and Asplundh tree trimming crews for their assistance and support with this power restoration effort.