The TVA begins preps for Hurricane Florence, sends crews to the coast

TENNESSEE VALLEY, Ala. - The Tennessee Valley Authority is getting ready for Hurricane Florence's impact and sending help to the East Coast.

Gallons and gallons of water are flowing through the Guntersville Dam. Even though its edge is more than 600 miles away, Hurricane Florence is sure to eventually add more to the Tennessee Valley's waterways. "There's going to be a tremendous amount of water coming through the system because it's going to dump a lot of rain up in the Appalachia," explained TVA spokesperson Scott Fiedler, "So right now we are spilling all the way from those tributary dams up in Cherokee all the way down the main stem to Pickwick."

What happens at one dam affects the entire system across the Tennessee Valley. "At TVA, we monitor this river 24 / 7, 365," Fiedler said, "We've got the River Forecast Center up in Knoxville, they're updating the plans every 12 to six hours depending on what's going on."

TVA crews are gearing to help on the east coast. "Right now we have crews on standby in Hickory, North Carolina. They're just waiting for the 'go' order. They're staying in the safe zone, and as soon as they get that 'go' order they're going to go in and help Duke Energy."

At home, folks who are going to the river or who live on it need to have a heads up. "This lake is going to go up and down because we need to manage the water to ensure that there isn't flooding, and we need to keep people safe," Fiedler added.

There will be some fast flows and the TVA says people who have a boat tied up on the river need to plan for the water levels changing. The TVA has a lake level app that's updated every hour so you know what the levels are, and what's going on to prevent flooding.