- Your News
By WAYNE THOMAS
Officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority say that water released from dams at Tims Ford and Normandy reservoirs is going to be at a minimum this summer.
Three officials with the federal utility visited the Tullahoma area Wednesday afternoon to explain the situation.
“We are in a conservative pattern,” Chuck Bach, general manager of river scheduling and operations said.
“We are going to be holding all of the water that we can.”
Despite recent rainfall, Normandy and Tims Ford reservoirs are experiencing lower water levels, TVA officials said.
“We have had only 46 percent of the normal rainfall since April,” Tom Barnett of TVA’s forecast center said.
According to Barnett, the two reservoirs are six feet below the normal level for this time of the year. “The U.S. Drought Monitor states that the areas around Shelbyville, Winchester and Tullahoma are having their driest period ever on record,” Barnett stated. “The first 23 days of May have been the tenth driest on record.” Runoff is 17 percent of normal and the lowest recorded for the area.
However, the two reservoirs are still two feet higher than during the drought of 2007.
Recent rainfall totals have positively impacted reservoir levels, but the preceding dry conditions prevented a large portion of the water from running off and reaching the reservoirs.
“The rains were spotty,” Barnett said. “We need six to ten inches of rainfall for the lake levels to rise up to the level they should be this time of the year.
“Boaters, who are unfamiliar with either of the lakes, should use extreme caution and watch for any tree stumps and sandbars,” Barnett said. He also explained that those using boats and other watercraft on the area reservoirs should pay close attention to their surroundings. Barnett explained that anyone on the reservoirs will notice that the water level is nowhere near where it usually is at this time of the year.
Information on the river system and specific reservoirs is available on TVA’s web site at http://www.tva.com/river and on the agency’s free app for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices. Links to download the apps are http://www/tva.com/mobile. Or you can call 800-238-2264 for hourly updates on lake levels.
Wayne Thomas may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org