NR 13-002 Nashville District responding to high water event

Published Jan. 13, 2013

NASHVILLE, TENN. (Jan. 13, 2013) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Management staff is responding to the effects of heavy rainfall and managing the release of water from dams throughout the Cumberland Basin. 

The Nashville District’s goal during high water events is to reduce downstream impacts to people and property as much as possible while safely maintaining the dam facilities and structures.  Water managers work closely with operators at the dams (who are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week) to keep abreast of conditions and make operational changes as necessary.  Those changes are communicated to the National Weather Service to assist them in the preparation of river forecasts.  For more weather and flood forecast info go to

Corps water managers have been closely tracking river conditions and have made numerous changes to the release schedules at dams in the middle Tennessee area over the past 24 hours.

Corps officials have been in communication with their federal, state and local partners. Releases from Old Hickory Dam and J. Percy Priest Dam have been coordinated to manage Cumberland River flows through Nashville.  Releases from Old Hickory have been steady throughout the day at 47,000 cubic feet per second (cfs).  While modest increases in releases may be required overnight the increased flow is not forecast to take the river to flood stage.  Old Hickory and J. Percy Priest lakes are expected to rise overnight, but not to threatening levels.

High flows from Cheatham Dam resulted in the closure of the Lock to commercial navigation.  Heavy runoff from uncontrolled tributary streams in the Nashville area, including the Harpeth River, is largely responsible for the high flows at Cheatham.  Dam operators will be closely monitoring river conditions and adjusting operations as necessary. 

For current conditions of the Cumberland River Basin projects go to the Nashville District web site at  

As necessary, news and information regarding water management and flood operations will be made available on the district’s website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at For more information about the Memphis District, go to For more information about the Louisville District, go to
Bill Peoples
Lee Roberts

Release no. 13-002