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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AKHTAB, MALACHI SHAHADA     102 WAYSIDE DR FORT OGLETHORPE, 30741     22     Hamilton County          FUGITIVE (ARREST FOR CRIME IN ANOTHER STATE) ASHLEY, SHAWN CHARLES     10 CRABTREE CIRCLE ROSSVILLE, 30741    ... (click for more)

Woman Described As Large-Scale Ice Meth Dealer Facing Charges In Chattanooga

A woman described as a large-scale ice methamphetamine dealer is facing federal charges. Hilda Trujillo-Rojas has been ordered to be detained pending the outcome of her case. Two men who were with her at the time of her arrest were also taken into custody. Authorities said during the week of March 24, law enforcement identified a cooperating source in the Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UAW Voices In Detroit

Today we are going to eavesdrop on somewhat of an open conversation that was held far to the north after the United Auto Workers surprisingly dropped a legal challenge with the National Labor Relations Board in Chattanooga the first thing on Monday morning. The NLRB judge certified the VW workers’ February vote to turn away the UAW at Chattanooga’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Beats McMinn, 10-4, For 5-AAA Tourney's Top Seed

East Hamilton put the finishing touches on the seedings for next week’s District 5-AAA baseball tournament at Ooltewah High with a 10-4 victory over McMinn County on Wednesday at Chattanooga State. The win gives the Hurricanes (19-13, 9-3) the No. 1 seed for the tournament, meaning Bradley Central (17-11, 9-3) will be the second seed. With East Hamilton’s win, Walker Valley got ... (click for more)

Taylor Hall's Late Night Basketball Call

It was the midnight call that could change her life. It was the Seattle Storm of the WNBA calling to invite soon-to-graduate UTC senior basketball player Taylor Hall to the Emerald City for a tryout and a possible spot with the pro team. “I have never been one to show a lot of emotion, so I was pretty calm when the call did come in, “said Hall. “But my roommate ... (click for more)