TVA predicts river crest over the weekend at McFarland Park

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FLORENCE, Ala. – As the rain continued to fall Wednesday morning barricades quickly dotted the byways in northwest Alabama. Flash flooding reports came in from across the Shoals during the day. All of the water has to go somewhere, and that somewhere is the Tennessee River.

“There is a tremendous amount of water moving through the system right now,” stated TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler. “We have been preparing for this storm for about 10-days, and for the last week we have been pushing water down from east Tennessee to provide storage for all this rain.”

According to Fiedler, Wilson Dam is discharging 1.7-million gallons of water per second. That is up from Tuesday’s push of 1.6-million gallons per second. Downstream at McFarland Park water is inching ever closer to the top of the banks.

“We are still trying to get that crystal ball to crystallize for us, so we can see what Mother Nature is going to bring us and when that water is going to rise and then start falling again,” Fiedler explained.

TVA is predicting the discharge at dam’s through-out the river system will continue to increase as the valley gets soaked.

“We have about 180 rain gauges throughout the Tennessee Valley that we are monitoring,” said Fiedler. “We are building forecasts and models for flooding every six hours and sending them to the National Weather Service.”

As of right now, TVA is predicting the Tennessee River at McFarland Park will crest over the weekend at 3-feet above flood stage. Florence police say the park will likely be closed to everyone Wednesday evening.

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