TVA halts commercial traffic on Fort Loudon

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The sound of waves crashing into the rocks at Fort Loudon dam was a change for some East Tennesseans.

"I feel like I"m at high tide in Myrtle Beach," Nola Chester said. "This is the highest I've seen this since I was a kid, and I've lived in this town all of my life," Chester said.

Chester and several other people in the area went by the dam Wednesday evening to take pictures and videos of the high waters.

The dam is one of nine main Tennessee River dams spilling water. As of late Wednesday afternoon, Fort Loudon dam was spilling 675,000 gallons of water per second.

According to TVA, officials will monitor the weather and water levels in the tributary system including Norris and Douglas. They are holding water in the tributary dams and will release it gradually after the rain moves out of the area.

As for the Tennessee River, officials began spilling excess water at Watts Bar dam last on Wednesday, which is located on the river between Knoxville and Chattanooga.

As always, TVA said they're at full turbine capacity – generating electricity anytime they are spilling.

Due to the water condition, the river is also closed to commercial river traffic and the navigation lock closed at Fort Loudon dam.

The lower Tennessee River from Guntersville (northern Ala.) to Kentucky Dam near Paducah, Ky., are holding steady with Guntersville, Wheeler and Wilson all discharging around 170,000 cubic feet per second (about 1.25 million gallons per second) and at Kentucky we’re holding at about 1.5 million gallons per second.

TVA’s River Forecast Center in Knoxville is actively managing the moving of water and is keeping a close eye on flooding conditions. Mainly agriculture areas are being impacted with no structures.

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