All Dark on Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill is powerless, at least when it comes to electricity.

The power went out at several major state buildings around 11:30 a.m. Thursday, leaving state workers wandering the halls with the help of candles, flashlights and cell phone lights.

According to Tennessee Highway Patrol officers and legislative staff, the problem is with the Nashville Electric Service power grid that covers the Capitol Building, Legislative Plaza, and the Andrew Jackson Building and Rachel Jackson buildings. The Capitol Building has backup generators to keep electricity flowing.

At least one person was stuck in the parking garage elevator underneath the plaza. However, patrolmen and maintenance workers have since been able to open the doors with a key and let riders off, officials said.

Walking around the plaza with a flashlight, House Chief Clerk Joe McCord joked the power outage was due to federal budget cuts.

Affected state legislative offices are releasing workers for the day and officials expect the power to be back on around 4:30 p.m., according to Lance Frizzel, chief of staff to the lieutenant governor.

  • OIR Employee

    The WRS Tennessee Tower is on limited generator power and has not released workers to go home.