How river levels might affect Riverbend
The water was high on Monday, but Riverbend organizers say crews made adjustments and still got plenty done.
We had a lot of rain last month and we're wondering if the water levels at the river will affect Riverbend. TVA has had all nine dams open along the Tennessee River since last week, including Chickamauga.
Set up for the Riverbend Music Festival started a few days ago. With the main stage floating on the Tennessee River, Friends of the Festival marketing director Amy Morrow was initially concerned because of recent weather.
"Think about all the rain we had in the past couple of weeks. Certainly that affects the river," says Morrow.
The water was high on Monday, but Morrow says crews made adjustments and still got plenty done.
"We just look at this and say, okay, our front porch is in the water right now. So we're just going to go to the back of the house and take care of everything else," adds Morrow.
Several rounds of thunderstorms produced downpours across the region, partially because of Subtropical Storm Alberto. TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler says it contributed to a rainfall level that was almost 200% of a normal May.
"We received anywhere from 7 to 8 inches in a 48 hour period north of Chattanooga. It was a tremendous amount of water, so we started to release it slowly," explains Fiedler.
All that water has to come through Chickamauga Dam. However, the good news for Riverbend is that TVA has been able to provide some relief.
"Yesterday [Monday] we were releasing over 750,000 gallons of water through the dam. Today we're lowering that by 100,000, so we'll have about 650,000 gallons. That will reduce the water in Chattanooga by about two feet," adds Fiedler.
This will be followed by another foot on Wednesday. Fiedler says even though by Thursday the spill rate will back to normal and the river safe, everyone should proceed with caution. Water will still be flowing in order to generate electricity.
"If you're out on the water this weekend for Riverbend, we need you to be safe out there while you're listening to the music," says Fiedler.
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