UPDATE: Chickamauga Dam opened, parts of Riverpark closed due to - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Chickamauga Dam opened, parts of Riverpark closed due to excess rain

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: After heavy rain last weekend, TVA decided it was time to open the Chickamauga Dam on Tuesday to better manage the flow of the Tennessee River, it's tributaries, and reservoir levels. With more rain expected through the week, the flow rate was increased on Wednesday.

"Yesterday we had we had 660,000 gallons of water per second. Later today you're going to see about 925,000 gallons per second. So, close to a million gallons per second coming out of Chickamauga Dam," says TVA spokesperson Malinda Hunter.

With higher swells and more water rushing downstream, the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department has closed all boat ramps and fishing piers in the Tennessee Riverpark as a safety precaution. Piers and ramps will be under water at times.

Hunter says there have already been a few scares, but not in the Chattanooga area.

"We have had some reports come out of boats that were unmanned on the river, a fisherman's boat that actually turned over," adds Hunter. This one of these reports was from northwest Alabama.

After the third-driest January in Chattanooga history we've received the normal February rainfall total in just the first two weeks of the month. Even after dry weather returns and the water levels goes down, hunter urges everyone to be careful.

"Be safe out there. We want you to get out there and have fun. It's a $12 billion recreation system we've got on the river, but we want you to do it safely," says Hunter.

It's not yet clear when the Riverpark will be re-opened.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: With February boasting 4.52" of rain since the start of the month, raising waters along the Tennessee River have closed most of the Tennessee Riverpark.

The fishing piers and boat ramps in the park have been closed for use.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has been spilling water from Chickamauga Lake downriver. Other dams in the TVA system are doing the same to prevent flooding.

It's not yet clear when the Riverpark will be re-opened.

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