TVA managing Tennessee River to reduce flooding
The Tennessee Valley Authority is working to move large volumes of water along the Tennessee River to reduce potentially damaging flooding.
TVA lowered reservoir levels on the main channel of the river beginning the last week of June. This left some areas below normal for the year.
However, recent extreme rainfall and runoff in the middle and eastern portions of the Tennessee Valley have forced 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 is expected to last one to two weeks
As the water moves through the system, 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," Bach said. "Crops along the Tennessee River on Kentucky Reservoir will be impacted the most."
A forecast of additional rain later in the week could add one or two more inches of water into the already-flooded system.
"We advise using extreme caution when near the dams, rivers and tributaries," Bach said. "Safety is the No. 1 priority, and river currents and speed are unpredictable."