GEMC continues to battle outages
Posted: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 9:04 pm
About 650 Gibson Electric Membership Corp.-served homes and businesses are now without power — including 340 in Gibson County, 160 in Crockett County and 150 in Madison County.
Crews have worked diligently to restore service to those affected by storms Monday night and early Tuesday, but additional storms Tuesday night caused new damage and outages.
Initially, 10,000 homes and businesses scattered throughout the co-op’s northwest Tennessee service area were affected by outages. That number was reduced to 400 by Tuesday evening before another line of severe storms pushed it back up to 2,900.
Gibson EMC President and CEO Dan Rodamaker is asking members to be patient.
“It is not yet possible to estimate when service will be restored, but the co-op’s employees know how difficult extended outages are for our members and will restore service to everyone as quickly as possible,” he said.
Rodamaker said Gibson EMC’s crews will make the repairs that will benefit the most customers first, then they will go back and do the repairs that are more time intensive and benefit fewer customers. He explained this is why customers may see crews working in an area but leaving without repairing individual services.
During an extended outage such as this, customers may want to purchase and use a generator. To keep those who are working to restore the power safe, Gibson EMC asks that they do several things before installing a generator, including:
• Call the local Gibson EMC customer service center.
• Hire a licensed electrician to install the generator.
• Plug appliances directly into the generator or use a heavy outdoor rated extension cord. The extension cord should be rated in watts or amps at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads.
• Never connect the generator to the household wiring. Doing so can cause back-feed along the power lines and electrocution for anyone coming in contact with them, including lineworkers making repairs.
For safety, Gibson EMC urges residents to stay away from downed electric lines as they may be energized and extremely dangerous. Anyone who knows the location of a downed power line should call Gibson EMC’s outage hotline at 1-800-977-4076 or their local customer service center.
Gibson EMC is a rural electric cooperative which serves more than 35,000 customers over 2,800 miles of electric line in Crockett, Dyer, Gibson, Lake, Obion and north Madison counties.
Published in The Messenger 4.27.11