Less than 10,000 customers in the Chattanooga area remain without power Friday evening after Thursday's windstorm knocked out power for more than 30,000 customers.
Deborah Dwyer, spokesperson for EPB, did not give an exact figure but said the utility had been able to restore electricity to more than 3,500 customers Friday. Dwyer added that repairs had been "slow going" because of a high number of incidents—instances in which an individual item causes a loss of power on the grid.
"The incident number is 850, and each one of them is causing a problem on the electric grid," Dwyer said. "We've got a lot of incidents to tackle, and each one of them is putting a small amount of customers back online. Most of these are fewer than 50 customers, so it's pretty slow going."
Dwyer said the power board was hoping that electricity would be restored to all customers by Sunday or Monday and that repair crews are addressing areas where outages are affecting the greatest number of people first, such as the Hixson-Northgate area. Between 17 and 20 additional crews from as far as Oklahoma are expected to arrive in Chattanooga this evening to assist with repairs.
Dwyer reiterated the power board's recommendation that elderly customers or customers with health issues seek shelter in homes of friends of family members with power and cooler air.
Update: As of 9:14 a.m. on 7/7/2012, EPB reports having restored power to 4,000 homes and businesses Friday night. There are still 5,424 homes and businesses without power and 716 areas of damage to the electric system that must be repaired.