Storms strike strawberry city
by ARIEL McRAE | Associate Editor
Those working around Humboldt last Friday, March 3 knew there were storms on the horizon, but the whole city was in for a surprise with the ferocity of the winds and all the implications that came with the massive weather front. Trees were downs, power was lost and even traffic lights were knocked to the ground during the short, severe storm.
Gibson EMC estimated that the powerful weather caused outages for over 14,525 members’ homes and businesses scattered around 12 or so counties served in Tennessee and Kentucky. Around noon on Friday, there were still about 13,140 members without power within about 67 outage locations. Crews worked hard to restore services as quickly to those affected as possible.
At the Humboldt Chronicle, the lights flickered during the downpour and eventually the backup batteries supporting the computers in the
offices responsible for all the documents involved with creating the Chronicle every week started beeping nonstop while they attempted to save the computer files during the power disruption. The office never lost complete power, but there was a reduced amount of electricity supplied to the building, which halted work plans for several hours. On top of the wonky electricity reducing work capacity, the internet as well as the computers’ power all went down. The Chronicle office was unable to work for a couple of hours until Humboldt Utilities could restore the building to its full capacity.
Around town, other businesses were in the same boat. Some lost their signs due to the forceful wind gusts, while others lost power altogether. On Main Street, a huge limb fell across the road, halting traffic while another limb fell through a roof on the same street. Power lines were seen sparking around strawberry city as well. The Humboldt Police department directed traffic through the East End Dr. and Hwy 45 Bypass intersection while Humboldt Utilities worked to restore the traffic lights.
“There were about 50 [outages] at the peak [of the storm],” stated Alex Smith, general manager for Humboldt Utilities, about the storm last week. “Most had the power back on within an hour. There were a handful still off [at 3 p.m.] because they needed an electrician to put their meter
base back on the house.”
Windy weather may have hit the town of Humboldt, but luckily, there were no major injuries. If a disruption to the workday and a few minor debris issues were all that occurred, then Humboldt faired on the better side of what could have been a major problem. Storms are unpredictable in their destruction, but Humboldt Utilities works hard to keep this city powered up.