TVA Averted Over $800 Million In Flood Damage In January, Officials Say

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority, through its system of dams and reservoirs, averted more than $800 million in flood damage to communities along the Tennessee River and its tributaries in January, according to officials.

TVA is using its 49 dams to store and then gradually release water after what was the third largest recorded rainfall and runoff for a January in TVA history.

During the month of January, the eastern part of the Tennessee Valley, including Knoxville and the Tri-Cities area, received approximately 10 inches of rain and the area below Chattanooga and West Tennessee averaged about 8 inches of rain. 

“We hold water behind the dams in order to minimize downstream flood impacts. After the high water crested on the Tennessee River and its tributary rivers, we started gradually releasing water out of the tributary reservoirs to recover storage space and to prepare for the next rain event,” said John McCormick, senior vice president, River Operations and Renewables.

TVA engineers use computer flood modeling, water elevation calculations and property value assessments along the Tennessee River and its tributaries to determine flood water impacts if TVA dams didn’t exist.

Areas estimated to have the most structural damage averted in January 2013 are:

·         Chattanooga, $710 million

·         Lenoir City, $61 million

·         Kingsport, $17.4 million

·         Knoxville, $7 million

·         South Pittsburg, $5.5 million

·         Elizabethton, $2.9 million

·         Clinton, $812,000

·         Savannah, $73,000

During an average year, TVA’s reservoir operations avert approximately $250 million in flood damage. TVA estimates it has averted nearly $7 billion in flood damage since it completed its first dam, Norris Dam, in 1936.

TVA continues to release water to recover flood storage space at most of its dams including all nine dams on the Tennessee River.  Excess water is also being released using spillway gates or sluice gates along with generators operating at maximum capacity at all 29 hydro generating dams, producing about 3,300 megawatts of electricity. That is enough to power about 1.8 million homes.

“We try to avoid spilling water because it’s low-cost power generation, but when we have a lot of water our No. 1 priority becomes reducing flood damage risks. This is a perfect example of why TVA lowers the reservoirs to their lowest elevations during the fall and winter months,” Mr. McCormick said.

A graphic depiction of TVA’s operation of the reservoir system is at http://www.tva.com/news/releases/janmar13/averted.html. Information on the river system and specific reservoirs is available on TVA’s Web site at http://www.tva.com/river and on TVA’s free app for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices.  Links to download the apps are available at http://www.tva.com/mobile.  For photos of various TVA dams spilling excess water, visit TVA’s Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennesseevalleyauthority.


Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

Goldon Dunn, 77, Was Victim In Wreck Near Northgate Mall

The man found dead in his car after veering off Hixson Pike near Northgate Mall was 77-year-old Goldon Dunn.   The vehicle with the driver still inside was found shortly after 5 a.m. on Thursday. Police said w hile traveling southbound on the 4850 block of Hixson Pike the driver went off the road to the left and hit some bushes and a wooden fence. O ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Always Been A Battleground Between Good And Evil

From the thousands slain in nearby Chickamauga Battlefield during the Civil War…  To the launching point of the Cherokee Indian’s Trail of Tears…  To the lunch counter sit-ins led by Howard School students — the only high school student sit-ins in the nation — during the Civil Rights Movement…  To Walter Cronkite calling the polluted Southern industrial town ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 92-Year-Old Victim

It is with great pride, and far greater relief, that I can report a “caretaker” is far different than a “boyfriend.” A story out of Memphis earlier this week morphed into a virtual fireball that had such power it appeared on the front page on a London newspaper and other news outlets all around the world when it was reported by the Associated Press a 28-year-old man had assaulted ... (click for more)

Baylor Girls Lose In State Basketball Semifinals, 69-61

NASHVILLE -- The third time wasn't the charm for the Baylor Lady Red Raiders. Facing the Brentwood Academy Lady Eagles in the semifinals of the D-II Class AA girls state basketball tournament at Lipscomb University, Baylor came up short for the third time this season against the Lady Eagles by a 69-61 final score. It was a see-saw affair with seven ties and 13 lead changes, ... (click for more)

UTC Men Edge VMI in Double Overtime, 86-82

The Chattanooga Mocs picked up a crucial road win in thrilling fashion, 86-82 in double overtime, at VMI. Chattanooga improves to 21-9, 14-3 in the Southern Conference, while the hosts fall to 11-17, 7-10 in league play. “It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination,” coach Will Wade said. “Good teams find a way to win, and we found a way to win. These were two highly motivated ... (click for more)