Note: This story was last updated at 2:40 p.m.
Roughly 4,000 customers lost power in the Tuesday evening storm, and about 70 damaged homes will require repairs by an electrician before power can be restored, an Oak Ridge official said Wednesday morning.
Oak Ridge Electric Director Jack Suggs said he doesn’t recall ever having 70 homes damaged in one storm, although the Electric Department has experienced worse storms when many utility poles were broken. But the brief, fierce Tuesday storm, which brought severe winds and driving rain, was significant in terms of its damage to homes and its far-reaching nature, from Blair Road on the west end of town to east Oak Ridge and beyond—into Clinton and Anderson County, Suggs said.
“It was pretty widespread,” Suggs said.
The storm, which ripped through Oak Ridge at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, left a trail of debris: scattered branches and limbs, broken trees, fallen power lines, and damaged buildings and homes. It also triggered a flood of calls to the city’s 911 call dispatch center.
About 500 customers remained without power around noon Wednesday, including the 70 damaged homes. [Read more…]