TVA controls high water levels as more rain in forecast


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The recent surge of rain has been much needed for the Tennessee Valley. But this means river levels are also surging.

Hamilton County Parks and Recreation closed all piers and boat ramps at the Tennessee River Park Wednesday. Water levels are just inches shy of covering the many piers along the river.

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Last weekend, Sequatchie River and other nearby creeks reached minor flood stages. But the Tennessee Valley Authority controls the level of Chattanooga’s Tennessee River with dams.

Wednesday night, they plan on letting about one million gallons per second through the Chickamauga Dam in preparation for more rain.

“You’ll see an increased flow rate. Lots of heavy water rolling,” TVA spokeswoman Malinda Hunter said. “We’ve had lots of water. We’re expecting more rain to come. So right now they’re holding water back in the tributaries and they’re managing the reservoirs. It’s all about flood prevention. We want to keep people safe.”

Just this month, we’ve seen some rain 10 of the 14 days.

Creeks are still swollen, soils are saturated, and meteorologists say the rain will continue through the weekend.

“But as more rain is in the forecast for this coming weekend especially, we’ll have to keep an eye on river and creek levels for any potential flooding problems,” News 12 meteorologist Christina Reuille said.

Hamilton County Emergency management says they constantly monitor water levels and will work to ensure the safety of the public of flooding occurs.

“Well anytime that we’re working with a lot of rain and heavier flows, we’ll work closely with them, we’ll talk with them. There’s a constant communication with them. We’re good partners, so if there is something that they need to know, we’ll make sure that they can communicate to the public,” Hunter said.

You can also keep an eye on water levels yourself by downloading TVA’s Lake Info app. There, you can see water levels of all TVA’s lakes and any flooding warnings.