Tennessee River in Florence below flood stage for the first time in weeks

The damage is mounting up for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 8:16 PM
Updated: Mar. 18, 2019 10:08 PM

For the first time in 24 days, the Tennessee River in Florence is below flood stage, but the damage is mounting up for the Tennessee Valley Authority.

At TVA's Rockpile recreation area, that's just below Wilson Dam, the gates are closed and caution tape is up. TVA officials say the park sustained a lot of damage, and the bathrooms were completely submerged because of flooding.

Beth Raper runs at TVA's trails on a regular basis and one of her favorite spots is the Rockpile recreation area. She sees firsthand how high the water is.

"It was a whole lot of water, more than I've seen in this area, and I've lived here for 40 years," Raper said. "There was water everywhere. It kind of looked like waves coming up at the beach, and we just wandered down to places we normally run, which were covered by water."

TVA said it hasn't been able to fully assess the damage yet, but the whole park was submerged because of Wilson Dam's high flows. Raper says she hopes the park is fixed soon.

TVA said it could take weeks for the park to open back up because of the clean-up process.

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