Wilson Dam in Muscle Shoals flowing 1 million gallons of water per second to prevent flooding

Some parts of the Shoals have seen 3 to 4 inches of rain since Friday.

Posted: Mar 1, 2021 4:41 PM
Updated: Mar 1, 2021 8:51 PM

The Tennessee River is swelling a little bit from all the rain in the Shoals.

On Monday, Wilson Dam was spilling 1 million gallons of water per second. The high flows make for swift currents on the river and around the dam.

"We're spilling at all 9 main river dams all the way from Knoxville, through North Alabama, and to Kentucky. We just stress to people to be cautious. There is a danger zone above the dam on the lake side and there is a danger zone below the dam on the river side," said Darrell Guinn, who works at TVA's River Forecast Center. "We just advise people to think and be smart and don't put yourself in a dangerous situation because these are high flows to navigate and it's a dangerous situation."

Guinn said to prepare for rain events, they have to look at weather across their entire dam system.

"Everything is tied to each other. That's the way the system was designed. A lot of these tributaries in the mountains in far East Tennessee, those are big storage vessels, so we used a lot of that storage holding this water back and that allowed us to minimize any potential flooding along the main river," said Guinn.

Guinn said this has been a very low impact rain event, but with everything saturated from the winter storm, plus more rain, they have to be prepared to make sure the Tennessee River doesn't come out of its banks too much.

"What we will do now is recover the flood storage and move that water out of the tributaries and through the system to make way for the next possible event in the future," said Guinn.

TVA said it will lessen Wilson Dam's spills over the next several days.

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