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TVA announced Wednesday the Tennessee River Valley received 67.01 inches of rain in 2018, exceeding the record set back in 1973, when 65.1 inches of rainfall drenched the region.Last year’s …
TVA announced Wednesday the Tennessee River Valley received 67.01 inches of rain in 2018, exceeding the record set back in 1973, when 65.1 inches of rainfall drenched the region.
Last year’s record is the highest amount of rain recorded since weather data collection for the area began 129 years ago.
According to TVA Weather Forecast Center senior manager James Everett, the 41,000-square-mile TVA river basin consists of seven states, including North Carolina where some mountainous regions received up to 80 inches of rain last year. At Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, rain gauges measured 118.8 inches of rain for 2018.
Everett said the TVA’s tributary system is currently experiencing high lake levels, where water, such as in Douglas Reservoir near Dandridge, is being stored to help reduce flooding.
In addition, the TVA’s main system of dams that dot the Tennessee River are working systematically to release water to ensure it is being evenly distributed among its many reservoirs, including Chickamauga Lake in Chattanooga.
As a result, Everett said a constant flow of water is churning through the turbines, as well as the floodgates of the federally owned corporation’s system of dams.
According to its Twitter account, TVA announced it is “recovering storage capacity in the tributaries and utilizing the limited storage space at the main stem reservoirs as we manage flood crests on the Tennessee River from heavy precipitation in December.”
In West Tennessee, the influx of water flowing between Pickwick and Kentucky Dams is immense, potentially leading to increased levels in the Ohio River.
“One-and-a-half million gallons of water is flowing through the dams per second,” Everett said.
Everett said TVA is not expecting the deluge of water flowing through its system of dams and reservoirs to abate anytime soon.
“January through March is typically the wettest season in the TVA region,” Everett said.