GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. - The Tennessee Valley Authority is releasing millions of gallons of water a second through dams in North Alabama in preparation for a potentially heavy rain event through the rest of this week.
Tuesday morning, the Guntersville Dam was spilling at 1.2 million gallons of water per second. That's almost two Olympic-size swimming pools per second. TVA posted the dam would be spilling until further notice.
That's typical right now, across the Tennessee Valley. "TVA has a series of 49 dams that we use in an integrated way to manage, for a lot of benefits, and one of those is flood control," said James Everett, senior manager for TVA’s River Forecast Center, "We'll be shifting our focus to provide flood protection and flood control during this potentially heavy rain event."
They're moving a lot of water to create as much storage as possible. "Lake levels will rise rapidly as we get this rainfall, as well as river levels below the dams," Everett said.
The Marshall County Emergency Management Agency is encouraging boat owners to secure boats accordingly, secure docks, and make preparations to boathouses.
Boaters should use caution on the water. "Steer clear of the dams. These are very turbulent waters near our dams, so heed all the caution signs and warnings about being on the water," Everett said.
TVA posts frequent conditions updates to its Facebook and Twitter pages.
TVA officials say TVA prevents about $250 million dollars in flood damage across the region every year. The goal during a large rain event is to minimize the flooding potential.