Storms on Monday night caused an additional 15,000 power outages in Nashville Electric Service's sphere following major storms Sunday night, which left more than 130,000 of the service's customers without electricity. According to NES, as of Tuesday morning, about 80,000 homes in its service area remain without electricity.
NES serves primarily Davidson County as well as a small northern strip of Williamson, including some of Brentwood and Nolensville. Middle Tennessee Electric serves most of Williamson County in addition to Wilson, Rutherford and more. MTE's service area experienced an additional 40,000-plus outages, bringing the storm's electrical damage up to 170,000 affected homes in Middle Tennessee.
As of Tuesday morning, just under 150 MTE customers in Williamson County remain without power.
NES officials said their crews are working around the clock and focusing on repairing primary lines and substations to restore power to the maximum amount of customers. Monday, NES repaired 31 major circuits.
NES shared Monday that, in some cases, customers can expect to be out of power for at least a week. Chris Jones, the CEO of MTE, shared Monday evening that some in its service area may face at least another day, as the storms created many small outages that must be fixed individually.
Both NES and MTE shared that they have employed the help of teams from nearby services — NES reported the help of 90 crew members from Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky. However, Jones said that the scope of the damage makes these resources scarce. On top of all of that, crews are operating under increased safety precautions due to COVID-19.
"If you're still without power, I assure you, there is nothing we want more than to restore your service, and we are exercising all the resources and capabilities at our disposal to make that happen as safely and quickly as we can," Jones said.
Additionally, both NES and MTE experienced some technology problems because of storm damage. Jones shared that, in addition to phone lines being temporarily down Monday, MTE's restoration estimation system was set to automate when it shouldn't have been, so customers who called and received an automated estimation of when their power would be restored, he said it was likely incorrect.
"That was our fault. That system should have been disengaged," he said. "We are working to continuously improve outage communications, so we have room for improvement, and we're on that."
NES's online outage map is also currently down.
"We apologize that we are experiencing technical difficulties with our online outage map," NES officials said in a statement. "We know customers rely on that map to gather the most up-to-date information on the restoration process, and we are working to get it fixed as soon as possible."
Jones shared that estimating power restoration is difficult because of the number of small outages, but he assures customers that his team is working fast.
"I also ask for your continued patience as we are quite literally working as hard and fast as we can to safely restore your service," he said. "Allow me to also ask for your prayers of safety for my teammates who are working so well to serve you."