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Power Outage Is Saturday

Crews with Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association were busy Tuesday tying in a line to the Water Valley Electric Department that will provide power to the hospital, nursing home and Odom Rural Health Clinic during Saturday’s outage. Shown are (from left) Water Valley Electric Department Manager Andy Hall, TVEPA CEO Brad Robison and TVEPA workers Jamie Barnette and Derek Cobern. The outage will not impact TVEPA customers.

By David Howell


WATER VALLEY – There has been a flurry of activity in town this week as preparations continue for the 12-hour power outage scheduled Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers who receive power from the City of Water Valley Electric Department. The outage was scheduled by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to  replace wooden poles with metal poles on the 161-kVtransmission lines that serve the Water Valley substation, according to Marcey Wright, TVA Public Relations Consultant.

The city’s electric department will also utilize the outage to replace a half-dozen critical power poles on the city grid. City Electric Department Manager Andy Hall reported he will use contract labor in addition to his crew during the outage to utilize the down time for maintenance on the aging system. Hall also said TVA crews have been busy prepping for the maintenance, staging power poles and equipment along the transmission line. TVA has also been hauling in mats to allow heavy equipment to access low areas along the line that are extremely muddy.

The outage will not affect customers with Tallahatchie Valley Electric Power Association (TVEPA) and the neighboring utility company has partnered with the city to provide electricity to the hospital, nursing home and Odom Rural Health Clinic during the outage. 

TVEPA CEO Brad Robison was with his crew Tuesday as they connected TVEPA lines to city lines near the jail that will feed the health-care facilities.  Robison reported that the power will run through an autotransformer bank to make the differing voltages from each system match.

Businesses in town were also gearing up for the outage. At presstime Tuesday, businesses reporting they will be open during the outage include Larson’s Cash Saver, B.T.C. Old Fashioned Grocery, Dollar General, Fred’s, Midtown Auto Parts, Main Street Liquor, Tobacco World, Sonic, Sayle Oil Company, Cornerstone Rehabilitation (gym, non-powered equipment only) and NAPA. Hometown Pizza will also be open with a limited menu that includes breakfast and pizza. Mechanics Bank will be closed but online and mobile banking will not be interrupted during the outage. Mechanics’ ATMs in town will not work during the outage, but the Mechanics branch on University Avenue in Oxford will be open along with ATMs operated by the bank in Oxford.

Hall is requesting any business owner or resident who plans to utilize a generator during the outage to contact City Hall. 

“We have to make sure we don’t have back flow from the generator. If the generators are not hooked up right, electricity can  flow back through the lines and create a danger for our crews working that day,” Hall explained.

Yalobusha General Health Services (YHS) Administrator Terry Varner told the Herald that YHS will assist anyone in the community who has a health-care device they already own that requires electricity. 

Contact the hospital in advance at (662) 473-1411 to make arrangements to come to the nursing home with your medical equipment to plug in for free electricity. 

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