NORTH ALABAMA (WHNT) — Cold weather combined with high winds heading into the Christmas weekend led to problems for North Alabama residents. Thousands were left in the dark during some of the coldest days of the year.

The Tennessee Valley Authority and local utility companies had to implement rolling blackouts.

A TVA spokesman says they fell short of the public’s, and their own, expectations when it comes to delivering reliable electricity.

The spokesman says their system is currently stable and they’re not anticipating any additional challenges from what they say was a “once-in-a-generation” storm. While the company did plan for this weather event, the spokesman adds that mother nature’s speed and intensity exceed their efforts. 

According to the spokesperson, TVA succeeded in maintaining the overall stability of the power system and prevented much more severe consequences.

The power company said it is planning to do a full review to identify gaps and implement corrective action plans to ensure a better response in the future. They thanked the public for their patience and understanding during this extreme weather event.

Several local utility companies took swift action when the TVA called on them for help.

Joe Gehrdes, Community Relations Director for Huntsville Utilities, says there was a lot of concern entering step 50 of TVA’s Load Curtailment Program.

“We were all dealing with that along with the problems that came along with the high demand,” Gehrdes said. “We had small outages scattered throughout the entire service area and that spread our crews pretty thin. Some of the outages did take some time to get to, but that’s all the utilities that were out – they were dealing with the exact same thing.”

The TVA spokesperson says the weather event created unprecedented energy demand for TVA and other power providers across the country, setting multiple power demand records during this event: 
Highest 24-hour electricity demand supplied in TVA history – Friday, December 23, 2022 – 740 gigawatt-hours 
Highest winter peak power demand – Friday, December 23, 2022, 7 p.m. CT – 33,425 megawatts (third highest peak in TVA history) 
Highest weekend peak power demand in TVA history – Saturday, December 24, 2022, 1 a.m. CT – 31,756 megawatts