Shoals officials: Stay off Tennessee River

1.4 million gallons of water per second is currently flowing through Wilson Dam.

Posted: Feb 12, 2018 2:27 PM
Updated: Feb 12, 2018 2:29 PM

The Tennessee River and creeks around the Shoals are beginning to swell with all the rain we've had, prompting officials to ask people to stay off the rivers and creeks.

The Tennessee Valley Authority tells WAAY31 1.4 million gallons per second are flowing through Wilson Dam making the river rough and dangerous.

"It's bad you don't want to get on it right now," said Doug Mitchell, whose been a fisherman for some 60 years. "The water temperature is so cold if you fell in the water right now your chances of survival are very slim."

Lauderdale County Emergency Management Agency Director George Grabryan said the river is expected to crest on Wednesday, so that means the waters could continue to rise. Since this is the first big rain of the season, the river is filled with debris.

"The height of the water changes the character of what's under it, not to mention all of the debris that's floating," said Grabryan.

Officials are asking people to stay off the river and creeks until the end of the week.

"Not only are you endangering yourself, but you're endangering those first responders that are going out there to help you," said Grabryan.

Officials hope people will heed these warnings and stay off the river and surrounding creeks until water levels get back to normal.

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