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No more power restoration until next week

TVA power feeds from Guntersville enabled Hartselle Utilities to restore power to about 2,200 of the city’s 5,500 customers early Friday morning, but that is likely the last area that will have power restored until next week.

Hartselle Utilities general manager Ferrell Vest said they were able to restore power to four circuits that feed out of the district substation at Highway 31 and 36  and another circuit that feed out of primary substation. Circuits that feed of the Cedar Creek substation remain out.

Vest said TVA began releasing a power back feed from its Guntersville facility around 11 p.m. Thursday, bringing back power on an incremental basis. The first circuit to be restored was the one serving Hartselle Medical Center. Next in order were circuits serving the Police Department and Fire Station No. 1, Columbia Cottage assisted living campus and the city’s wastewater treatment plant. This brought power back to residents of northeast, north and southwest sectors of town. Also included was part of the business district on U.S. 31 including Walmart.

“We would’ve gotten power back to everybody had Guntersville had enough feed to meet the demand,” Vest said. “We’re 100 percent ready system-wide to receive power.  Districts without power will be brought on line as soon as TVA can meet our demand.”

However, TVA told Hartselle officials that they have no more power available at this time. Vest said TVA is concerned that it could crash the whole power grid if it attempts to bring any more areas back on at this time.

“There’s just not enough power generation from the Guntersville plant to meet the demand,” Vest said. “And we cannot get any power from the Shoals because the transmission lines across the whole grid are damaged. In fact, the Brown’s Ferry power plant has been shut down because they cannot transmit the power.”

Vest said 43 of the power company’s 500 kVa lines are down and more than 600,000 TVA customers do not have power at this time. He also added that crews from Hartselle Utilities are assisting workers in Trinity on repairing line damage while TVA has 4,000 workers trying to repair the damage around Brown’s Ferry.

“TVA is trying to attack the problem from both ends,” Vest said. “We’re working on the service lines to help get areas ready to receive power. When the transmission lines are repaired, then they will be able to bring multiple areas on at one time.”

The good news for all Hartselle residents was the restoration of power to the city’s grocery stores and several service stations.

However, Vest wanted to quell any rumors regarding Hartselle’s water system.

“Our water system is fine,” Vest said. “Decatur is producing 18 million gallons of water a day, which is more than enough to meet the demand of Decatur, Hartselle and other areas of Morgan County. Our tanks are full. We’re not going to run out of water.”