Power outages impact Polk County businesses - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Power outages impact Polk County businesses

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POLK COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- It's been a rough five days for Niki McElroy at her bait and tackle shop in Polk County.

She lost power Thursday when a storm packing powerful winds swept through the area, taking down trees and power lines and leaving thousands in the dark.

She is also dealing with sweltering temperatures.

The lights came back on late Sunday, but being without power cost her business thousands. 

"We lost about $5,000 worth of meats. We also lost money from canceled campers and supplies," McElroy says.

Volunteer Energy crews were out Monday replacing utility poles, hoping to get a nearby camp ground out of the dark.

At its peak, VEC had roughly 17,000 customers without power.

Monday, that number is now less than 200.

Repair crews are working around the clock, so people like Matt Allen can keep his rafting business afloat.

He's only been enjoying the power for a couple of hours.

"It is just hot. There is no air conditioning," Allen says. "We didn't have water because the well pumps are out."

He says covering the basics for the last five days has been nothing short of a miracle. 

"It's just the simple things," he says. "I don't have a microwave to make a sandwich, and it is just things we don't think about it. It just makes life difficult."

VEC tells Channel 3 about 190 customers are still without power.

They hope to have everyone on by Monday night.

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