Power was restored to all of Oak Ridge except for the University of Tennessee Arboretum after a crash knocked down a high-voltage transmission tower Friday afternoon, the city said Friday night.
The single-vehicle crash caused the tower to fall over and created widespread power outages. Many residents reported having power restored within about one to three hours, while it seemed to take longer to restore power in the southeast section of the city, closer to the crash site.
In its last update, posted at 10:10 p.m., the City of Oak Ridge said the Arboretum will be without power through Saturday.
The city passed on an update from the Tennessee Valley Authority, the public utility that provides power to distributors like Oak Ridge: Late this afternoon (Friday afternoon), a Chevy 2500 towing a skid steer ran off of Highway 62 in Oak Ridge at the South Illinois Avenue and Union Valley Road intersection and damaged a TVA transmission structure. The highway is impassable, as the transmission structure is hanging partially above the roadway, and the transmission lines are across the road and too low for vehicle clearance. The line is de-energized. Additional structures were damaged during the incident. TVA transmission crews and TVA Police officers are on scene.
TVA said it is securing contract traffic control services that will be on site Saturday morning. TVA said its crews are currently removing the damaged structure and completing the engineering necessary to make repairs.
Three men from Alabama were injured in the crash, and charges are pending against the driver of the pickup truck, according to the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
The damaged tower reportedly had a TVA transmission line and city transmission and distribution lines.