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TVA apologizes for rolling blackouts during record winter weather

TVA said they take "full responsibility" for its impact on customers, and said they will use the lessons learned to prepare for the next weather event.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said they are taking "full responsibility," and apologizing to customers after rolling blackouts left thousands without power during a frigid Christmas weekend in Tennessee and the Mid-South.

"We are conducting a thorough review of what occurred and why," the power company said in a statement. "We are committed to sharing these lessons learned and - more importantly - the corrective actions we're taking in the weeks ahead to ensure we are prepared to manage significant events in the future."

TVA said they supplied more power during the 24-hour period from Dec. 23 to Dec. 24 than at any other time in its nearly 90-year history. The Arctic Blast also produced the highest winter power peak in TVA history - and was also the first time the power provider had to implement rolling blackouts.

TVA first announced the possibility of rolling blackouts on Dec. 23, but later rescinded that announcement. However, the next day, TVA again announced rolling blackouts, leaving five to 10% of customers without power for a total of five hours and 40 minutes. 

In Memphis, several public buildings including police stations and one of the city's warming centers lost power for certain periods, drawing massive criticism of the city's ageing infrastructure. 

TVA said they will learn from the "unprecedented" record-low temperatures and are committed to providing reliable service.

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