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Storm causes problems with utilities
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An electrical storm slammed in Warren County on Wednesday night and left its mark.Ben Lomand Connect ended up being one of the hardest hit utilities because its state-of-the-art technology doesn’t mix well with lightning.“It seems like we’re taking care of one problem and then getting two more calls,” said Jeff Carter of Ben Lomand Connect. “We serve several counties, including Warren County, and it seems like all areas were affected.”Carter said the issue is the electronics used for high-quality Internet and TV reception is susceptible to surges and lightning strikes.“To resolve a lot of problems, we have to go into our customers’ houses to change out boxes and that takes time,” Carter said. “Our crews are going to be working late trying to restore service to our customers as fast as possible.”Carter said it could be next week before everyone is restored, although crews will do their best to get customers on by the weekend.Carter suspects the electrical storm will end up exacting a high toll on the utility in both overtime hours worked and damage to company property.In the city of McMinnville, the blackout was minimal, lasting for just a few minutes.“We had a substation struck,” said Ralph Dunn of McMinnville Electric System.The strike affected customers in the western part of the city in areas like Molloy, Sunset, and Club Drive.“We had to reset it and once that was done the power was back on,” said Dunn, noting he does not expect any long-term issues.Outside the city, Warren County fared better than some surrounding areas.“There were some scattered outages in Warren County, in the Centertown, Bethany and Morrison areas,” said Caney Fork operations coordinator Teresa Parker.