By Leon RobertsSeptember 1, 2017
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District Water Management Center is preparing for heavy rainfall in areas of the lower Cumberland River Basin from remnants of Hurricane Harvey, and is managing the release of water from dams throughout the Cumberland Basin to reduce flood risk.
"We have been releasing water through the spillway at J. Percy Priest Dam to recover additional storage capacity, and we are lowering main stem Cumberland River projects toward the lower end of their normal operating ranges to prepare for the rain and anticipated runoff," said Anthony Rodino, Water Management Section 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 info go to http://www.weather.gov/ohx/.
Corps officials have been in communication with federal, state and local partners and stakeholders, including the Tennessee Valley Authority, regarding the storm forecasts and potential impacts. The Nashville District and TVA coordinate closely, especially at Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley where an unregulated canal connects the two waterways.
"The Nashville District is monitoring the situation closely as the storm system approaches and passes through the region," Rodino said. "We will provide updates as needed regarding water management plans, operation of the dams, and water releases as the Corps works to reduce flood risk, and of course any impacts on public safety and navigation within the Cumberland River Basin."
The spillway operation at J. Percy Priest Dam is expected to be discontinued at 4 p.m. today. Old Hickory, Cheatham and Barkley Dams will be generating all available hydropower units the rest of today and Friday. Releases through the spillways are expected tomorrow at those projects.
For current conditions of the Cumberland River Basin projects go to the Nashville District web site at http://www.lrn-wc.usace.army.mil/. As necessary, news and information regarding water management and flood operations will be made available on the district's website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. For more information about the Memphis District, go to http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/. For more information about the Louisville District, go to http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/.