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Mtn. Electric Schedules Power Outage Saturday Night in Avery; Bars Disappointed, 15,000 Customers Affected

By Jesse Wood

July 17, 2012. Mountain Electric Cooperative has scheduled a power outage starting Saturday, July 21, at 11:00 p.m. The outage is expected to last eight to 10 hours while Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) replaces equipment at the Cranberry Substation.

According to a TVA release, the outage will affect more than 15,000 customers residing in Banner Elk, Newland, Linville, Linville Falls, Crossnore, Altamonte, Pineola and Jonas Ridge.

The timing of the outage has upset some local businesses that rely on late-night clientele such as bars, clubs and music venues.

Lee Ammann, the manager for Bayou Smokehouse in Banner Elk, said he didn’t receive a notice about the outage and heard about it through word of mouth. He is concerned with the timing of the outage, which is during prime-time bar hours, and expects to lose hundreds of dollars.

“We are a bar, so anything from 11 to 2 is when we make the most of our money – a good bit,” Amman said.

Scott Brooks, a media contact for the TVA, said the TVA coordinated with the Mountain Electric Cooperative to create “the least impact on regular business hours.”

“Any other time, we’d be impacting businesses that normally open in the mornings,” Brooks said.