TVA Averted Over $800 Million In Flood Damage In January, Officials Say

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority, through its system of dams and reservoirs, averted more than $800 million in flood damage to communities along the Tennessee River and its tributaries in January, according to officials.

TVA is using its 49 dams to store and then gradually release water after what was the third largest recorded rainfall and runoff for a January in TVA history.

During the month of January, the eastern part of the Tennessee Valley, including Knoxville and the Tri-Cities area, received approximately 10 inches of rain and the area below Chattanooga and West Tennessee averaged about 8 inches of rain. 

“We hold water behind the dams in order to minimize downstream flood impacts. After the high water crested on the Tennessee River and its tributary rivers, we started gradually releasing water out of the tributary reservoirs to recover storage space and to prepare for the next rain event,” said John McCormick, senior vice president, River Operations and Renewables.

TVA engineers use computer flood modeling, water elevation calculations and property value assessments along the Tennessee River and its tributaries to determine flood water impacts if TVA dams didn’t exist.

Areas estimated to have the most structural damage averted in January 2013 are:

·         Chattanooga, $710 million

·         Lenoir City, $61 million

·         Kingsport, $17.4 million

·         Knoxville, $7 million

·         South Pittsburg, $5.5 million

·         Elizabethton, $2.9 million

·         Clinton, $812,000

·         Savannah, $73,000

During an average year, TVA’s reservoir operations avert approximately $250 million in flood damage. TVA estimates it has averted nearly $7 billion in flood damage since it completed its first dam, Norris Dam, in 1936.

TVA continues to release water to recover flood storage space at most of its dams including all nine dams on the Tennessee River.  Excess water is also being released using spillway gates or sluice gates along with generators operating at maximum capacity at all 29 hydro generating dams, producing about 3,300 megawatts of electricity. That is enough to power about 1.8 million homes.

“We try to avoid spilling water because it’s low-cost power generation, but when we have a lot of water our No. 1 priority becomes reducing flood damage risks. This is a perfect example of why TVA lowers the reservoirs to their lowest elevations during the fall and winter months,” Mr. McCormick said.

A graphic depiction of TVA’s operation of the reservoir system is at http://www.tva.com/news/releases/janmar13/averted.html. Information on the river system and specific reservoirs is available on TVA’s Web site at http://www.tva.com/river and on TVA’s free app for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices.  Links to download the apps are available at http://www.tva.com/mobile.  For photos of various TVA dams spilling excess water, visit TVA’s Flickr site at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennesseevalleyauthority.



Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news.  Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALFARO, GUILLERMO ANTONIO  714 ELY RD HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 44 years old Arresting Agency: Tenn Highway Patrol DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE --- APPLEBETJR, PERCY  1706 BRADT ST CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 62 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ... (click for more)

The Growing Monopoly

Over the last decade, five tech giants have risen to the top, and created, discovered and invented services and products that have made these companies worth billions today. Those five, of course, are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Each of these companies are responsible for several products and services that we use in our everyday lives. They have devoured the ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Those We All Ignore

I was in the midst of my “morning readings” the other day when a number leapt off my computer screen. Hark, heralded angels, did you know in the state of Iowa there are two (2) inpatient psychiatry beds for every 100,000 people? I’m not the best with percentages but there are some people in Iowa who aren’t getting the help they need. There are roughly 3.2 million people living in ... (click for more)

Stoker Beats Ensign At End To Win Wauhatchie

Rodney Stoker is hard to beat and it doesn’t matter if it’s on a road or a slick trail on the side of Lookout Mountain. The 41-year-old Stoker won the Sports Barn Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving and he made his return to the 33 rd annual Wauhatchie Trail Run on Saturday a successful one as he caught 10-time winner Tim Ensign in the final quarter mile to win the challenging and ... (click for more)

Commerce Wins Bradley Invitational With Four Champs

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – The host Bradley Bears were the two-time defending champs in their own Bradley Invitational this weekend at Jim Smiddy Arena, but they weren’t able to make it a three-peat. The Commerce Tigers, a powerhouse Class A team from Georgia, had a slim three-point lead going into Saturday afternoon’s medal rounds, but after winning all four of their championship matches ... (click for more)