Prepared for the unexpected

Stormy spring keeps DTC Communications crews busy

It was a busy March for DTC Communications as crews responded to multiple storms that impacted the area and caused service outages.

The first was on March 3, when a severe thunderstorm rolled through middle Tennessee spawning multiple tornadoes, one of which ripped into Smith County; downed transmission lines; and disrupted phone, internet and TV service to about 1,800 DTC customers.

According to a statement by Smith County EMS Director Jeff Crockett, the tornado left a swath of destruction from Grant to New Middleton to Agee Branch to Maple Street in Gordonsville and across Carthage Junction/Preston Road.

DTC Chief Executive Officer Chris Townson says the storms hit sometime between 1 and 2 a.m., yet crews were on the ground surveying damage within an hour. Townson says he immediately activated DTC’s emergency preparedness and disaster recovery plan.

About 80% of the outages were restored within about 12 hours. All service was repaired within about two days.

“The remainder was repaired over the next 24 to 36 hours later as crews could safely get in there because of downed power lines,” he says.

But a few weeks later, just as things were returning to normal, a second round of storms pushed through portions of DeKalb and Cannon counties, disrupting service to about 600 DTC members.

Feeling the effects of the first storm, crews went to work again. They fully restored service to all DTC members within a couple of days.

Townson says every DTC employee was involved in the recovery effort in some way, and he is proud of the work his team did to recover quickly and safely.

“We couldn’t have expected all that we have had to deal with,” he says. “Our job is to keep people safe and get service restored efficiently. We are very grateful that we were able to do that without any lost-time accidents.”