FLORENCE, Ala. — 2019 saw significant rainfall for the Tennessee Valley. In February, dams along the Tennessee Valley Authority system opened to release millions of gallons of water per second to create storage for the rain that eventually fell.
In the Shoals, the increased rainfall caused major flooding along Pickwick Lake causing damage to recreational areas and campgrounds. McFarland Park in Florence was nearly covered in water. The TVA Rockpile Recreation Area had to have playground equipment, bathrooms, and boat docks replaced.
Darrell Guinn with TVA spoke Thursday morning about the 2019 rainfall totals along the river system.
“We came in with the Tennessee River basin rainfall total of 66.47 inches, and that ranks second,” Guinn said. “Last year, 2018 was 67.02 inches and so, we were about a half-inch short of breaking that record.”
Guinn says 2019 was unique—not just because of the amount of rain—but also the drought the Tennessee Valley experienced at the end of summer.
Like 2019, TVA is already taking precautionary measures to decrease the amount of flooding seen across the Valley. “We have aggressively recovered our flood storage to put us in good position for this rain event,” Guinn said.
For TVA, it’s not just a priority to prevent damage, but also to keep the residents along the river system safe when nature acts in unpredictable ways.
TVA wants everyone to know that river flows will be above average with this rain event so take extreme caution if you plan to be out on the water.