TVA Managing Tennessee River To Reduce Flooding

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority is working to move large volumes of water, as much as one million gallons per second in some places, along the Tennessee River system to reduce potentially damaging flooding from record rainfall.

TVA prepared for this event by lowering reservoir levels on the main channel of the Tennessee River beginning the last week of June, leaving some areas below normal for this time of year.

However, extreme rainfall and runoff in the middle and eastern portions of the Tennessee Valley over the past week are now forcing TVA to spill or release excess water from 10 of 20 tributary dams and all nine main channel dams along the 652-mile Tennessee River.

“TVA’s management of the river system is working,” said Chuck Bach, general manager of TVA River Operations. “TVA will spill only when all available hydroelectric-generating turbines are operating at full capacity and additional water still needs to be moved.”

Spilling along the dams is expected to last one to two weeks. As this water moves through the system, agricultural crops planted in floodplain areas along the Tennessee River in Northern Alabama and West Tennessee will be impacted by higher than normal water elevations.

“Some crop fields near the banks of the Tennessee River will see up to six to eight feet of water,” Mr. Bach said. “Crops along the Tennessee River on Kentucky Reservoir will be impacted the most.”

Because of flooding and high water flows on the Ohio and upper Mississippi rivers, water released out of the Tennessee River system into the Ohio River at Kentucky Dam have been reduced. TVA is in close contact with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, and when flood stages there drop, more will be allowed to be discharged from Kentucky Dam.

Within the Tennessee River system, there have been reports of flooding in Chattanooga; Whitesburg and Florence, AL, and Savannah, TN., near Pickwick Reservoir.

Some recreational areas along the Tennessee River have been temporarily closed because of high water. Recreation areas on Douglas and Watauga reservoirs in Tennessee and Wilson reservoir near Florence, AL, are among those most impacted.

“We advise using extreme caution when near the dams, rivers and tributaries,” Mr. Bach said. “Safety is the number one priority, and river currents and speed are unpredictable.”

Watauga Reservoir, near Elizabethton, TN, set a record lake elevation on Monday at 1,967 feet above sea level about a foot higher than the previous record set last May.

A forecast of additional rain later in the week could add one or two more inches of water into the already-flooded system.

The Tennessee River watershed has one of the highest annual rainfall totals of any watershed in the United States, averaging 51 inches a year. So far in 2013, more than 40 inches of rain has fallen in the Valley.

TVA manages the Tennessee River and its many tributaries to meet vital public needs in six key areas: navigation, flood damage reduction, power production, water quality and supply, recreation and land use.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AARON, DARREL DEON 211 APPLING STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406 35 Chattanooga LICENSE, EXPIRED DRIVER LICENSE DRIVING LEFT OF CENTER LINE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ATKINSON, JAMAAL NATHANIEL 737 TALLEY RD CHATTANOOGA, 37411 23 Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Red Bank Citizens Urged To Attend Meeting On Flood Risk Maps

A public meeting will be held on Monday, April 13, from 4-7 p.m. with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the DRC building, 1250 Market St. “I can’t convey how important it is for the residents of Red Bank to go,” said City Manager Randall Smith. This will be an opportunity for residents and property owners to review the new preliminary flood risk maps, as well as ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)

Double Overtime Thriller: Central Boys Going To State

For all the folks who came to Chattanooga State Tuesday night for the Class AA sectional battle between Livingston Academy and Region 3-AA champ Central, they got their money's worth and more. And they even got some free basketball to boot. Needing a couple of overtimes, the Purple Pounders will be heading to Murfreesboro and MTSU's Murphy Center next week for the TSSAA State ... (click for more)

Blackman Blazes A Trail To State By Bashing Bradley, 55-35

(Story will be updated) MUFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Class AAA state champions are still alive and well. Blackman raced past outmanned Bradley Central, 55-35, Tuesday night in a Class AAA sectional victory that blazed a path right to the boys state tournament at nearby Middle Tennessee State University starting on March 11. The Blaze (24-5) will be making their fourth ... (click for more)