A Million Gallons A Second Pouring Through Some Mid-State Dams

Jul 11, 2013

Credit tva.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  -- This summer’s heavy rains are proving to be both a blessing and a challenge for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

TVA says the Tennessee Valley normally sees just over 50 inches of rain in a year. The agency says the region has already received 40 inches little more than half way through 2013.

The extra water means TVA can generate more hydroelectric power, providing electricity at a lower cost to customers in Tennessee and six other states. The challenge is moving all that water through the Tennessee Valley river system without flooding communities along its banks.

TVA says it’s currently releasing water from 10 of 20 tributary dams and all nine main channel dams along the 652-mile Tennessee River.  In some places, more than a million gallons of water is roaring through spillways each second.

TVA says it hopes to keep any damage to a minimum, but there have already been reports of flooding at Chattanooga, Savannah, and Florence Alabama.