Animal knocks out power to 40% of MU customers

An animal that was able to sneak past an animal guard led to 40% of Morristown Utilities customers being without power Thursday morning and multiple traffic lights losing power.

Jody Wiginington, general manager and chief executive officer for Morristown Utilities, said power was restored after 33 minutes.

“Overall, it was not normal, but it was pretty quick to get it back on,” he said.

He said a circuit was shorted inside the Cedar Creek substation, which serves Morristown Utilities, Appalachian Electric Coop and Holston Electric Coop customers.

It also affected three more distribution stations and power went off at 7:50 a.m., Wigington said.

He said he was not sure at this time how many traffic lights were not working, but he said most of them occurred around Morris Boulevard.

Wigington said MU workers were able to identify outages quickly through a monitoring system and dispatch crews.

“It was just a matter of getting our crews to the right locations,” he said.

Power was restored by 8:23 a.m.

The outages included commercial and residential areas. The north, east and downtown parts of town were most affected and industry on the east end were also affected, Wigington said.