NR 13-026: Nashville District managing Cumberland after July 1-7 rain event

Published July 8, 2013

NASHVILLE, TENN. (July 8, 2013) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Management staff is responding to the effects of unusually heavy rainfall in areas of the upper and mid-Cumberland River Basin July 1-7, 2013 and is managing the release of water from the system of dams on the Cumberland River.

Areas of Smith and Wilson Counties recorded nine-plus inches of rainfall; Fentress Co. - eight-plus inches; Cumberland, Jackson and Putnam Co. - seven-plus inches; while areas of Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner and White Counties recorded six-plus inches of rainfall during this period.

Most of these locations typically only receive half of these amounts for the entire month of July, according to the National Weather Service, Nashville, Tenn.

“Were it not for the flood control capability of the Cumberland Basin reservoir system we would have seen much higher water levels on the Cumberland River at places like Carthage, Nashville, Ashland City, and Clarksville.  Preliminary results of simulations we performed this morning indicate that the river would have exceeded flood stage (40’) at Nashville if the storage reservoirs were not in place,” said Bob Sneed, Water Management chief.

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 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 information go to

Corps water managers have been closely tracking river conditions and have made numerous changes to the release schedules at Nashville District dams from Wolf Creek to Barkley over the July 4 holiday period. Corps officials have been in communication with their federal, state and local partners.

Heavy runoff from uncontrolled tributary streams in the Middle Tennessee area may have created flooding problems in some local areas,  but the weather system that produced all the heavy rains has now moved East and the mid-state area should get a chance to dry out a little over the next few days, according to the NWS.

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. 13-026