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.


Hardeman County Man Charged In Savannah Homicide

A joint investigation by   special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and officers from several other west Tennessee law enforcement agencies has resulted in the arrest of a Pocahontas man on a charge of first-degree murder. At the request of the office of 24 th  District Attorney General Matt Stowe, TBI special agents joined officers with the Savannah ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: MainX24 Parade

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Among The Worst In U.S.

Bobby Bragan, who was the first manager of Major League Baseball’s Braves when they moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta, had a great view on statistics: “Say you were standing with one foot in the oven and one foot in an ice bucket. According to the percentage people, you should be perfectly comfortable.” I am about to make you uncomfortable with some lousy statistics. Earlier this ... (click for more)

It's Tennessee Vs. Nebraska In The Music City Bowl

 Tennessee has accepted an invitation to play the Nebraska in the Music City Bowl on    Dec. 30   at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. Tickets for the Music City Bowl will be available for purchase in the coming days via AllVols.com. "Our entire program is excited about representing the University of Tennessee at the Music City Bowl," Vols ... (click for more)

UVa Tops Moc Wrestlers, 34-11

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling team dropped a 34-11 match to Virginia at Maclellan Gym today.  The Mocs fell behind early and could not overcome a big lead the Cavaliers built on bonus points.  The first three matches did not make it into the third period, with Virginia scoring a technical fall and two pins to go up 17-0.  Freshman ... (click for more)