NASHVILLE, Tenn. --
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 7, 2019) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Management Section is overseeing water releases at its dams in the Cumberland River Basin in the wake of yesterday’s significant rain event within the basin.
Anthony Rodino, Nashville District Water Management Section chief, said the basin received widespread three-to-four inches with some areas seeing over six inches of rain. He said as a result the Corps is operating its dams to pass as much water as possible at the run of the river projects on the main stem Cumberland River, and holding water where possible at its larger storage reservoirs.
“The entire system is operated in a coordinated fashion. We’re limiting releases from our dams like Wolf Creek Dam, Dale Hollow Dam, Center Hill Dam and J. Percy Priest Dam, while we are passing water through at Cordell Hull Dam, Old Hickory Dam, Cheatham Dam and Barkley Dam,” Rodino said.
With the amount of water being passed along the Cumberland River, the public is encouraged to be extremely cautious boating and to avoid navigating while water levels are elevated and currents are moving more swiftly. Pedestrians are reminded not to get too close to the shoreline when the water is moving swiftly as slips, trips and falls can be hazardous. Never try to drive on a roadway covered by water. Turn around, don’t drown.
Rodino said the water management team is performing a balancing act to hold water at dams where storage is available while passing water at dams where necessary to effectively manage the entire Cumberland River Basin.
Complicating the balancing act, more rain is expected in the region early next week, and a flood crest is also making its way down the Ohio River that is expected to reach the Mississippi River in several days.
Water managers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division are working with district water managers to manage releases from Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River and from Tennessee Valley Authority to manage releases from Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River to reduce impacts as the flood crest on the Ohio River makes its way into the Mississippi River.
Col. Paul J. Kremer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Ohio River Division deputy commander, visited the Water Management Operations Center today to receive an update on the ongoing flood risk reduction operation.
“I received a very informative update from Nashville District water managers who are managing the current rain event while supporting the division as it handles the flood crest moving down the Ohio River,” Kremer said. “The inland waterways are operated as a system where water managers hold and pass water through dams to mitigate flood risk and support other purposes such as navigation and hydropower. The Nashville District team are experts. They will perform well.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to coordinate the ongoing regional flood-control operation with multiple offices with the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, TVA, National Weather Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.
For more information about how the Nashville District operates the Cumberland River Reservoir System, see the Water Management Education Series at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/WaterManagement/EducationSeries.aspx.
As necessary, news and information regarding water management and flood operations will be made available on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. For more information about the Memphis District (Mississippi River), go to http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/. For more information about the Louisville District (lower Ohio River), go to http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/.