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Lawmakers want answers after TVA imposes rolling blackouts on customers during winter storm

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Jason Anfinsen
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As if dealing with freezing temperatures and frozen pipes weren’t enough, Middle Tennessee also had to endure intermittent power outages over the weekend, leaving customers and lawmakers frustrated.

The Tennessee Valley Authority put in place rolling blackouts beginning Christmas Eve, leaving residents without power for about 15 minutes at a time. The plan was halted after the power grid stabilized, but lawmakers are wondering what went wrong and how TVA can avoid programmed blackouts in the future.   

“We need to get the full team in place and make sure that we have got accountability for any problems that happened last week, but more importantly a plan for how to avoid this kind of rolling blackout situation going forward,” said state Sen. Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville, on Tuesday. 

TVA officials had a conference call with elected officials over the weekend letting them know they’ve already started to assess what went wrong.  

CEO Jeff Lyash told lawmakers that part of the analysis will be to look at what new investments are needed to ensure that power stays on for all of its users in the future.

Blaise Gainey is a Multimedia Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.
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