Heavy rain means higher waters at East Tennessee dams

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NORRIS DAM STATE PARK, Tenn. (WVLT) -- While much of East Tennessee cleans up from flooding debris left behind after weekend downpours, the Tennessee Valley Authority has been manning dams along the Tennessee River. TVA officials said some lakes could experience several more feet of water than is normal for winter months.

Water has not been spilling over the top of Norris Dam, but it has been rushing through the bottom of the dam into the Clinch River below.

TVA said the weekend's rain has kept crews busier than usual. More than 100,000 gallons of water per second has flooded through many dams in the region as experts have worked to control lake levels above.

TVA said without dams like Norris, towns like Clinton downstream could have seen extreme flooding with weekend rains.

"It's about a month's worth of rain we've seen in the last few days," TVA River Forecast Center Manager James Everett said. "The decisions that we make over here in East Tennessee influence river levels all across the Tennessee Valley."

TVA said at Norris, crews haven't expected the water to spill over the top like last April, but the dam has begun flooding at its base.

As of Monday, Fort Loudoun Dam was the only one of nine along the Tennessee River that hadn't begun spilling. TVA officials said they expected it to begin later in the week.