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Nashville District managing water releases in Cumberland River Basin

Nashville District managing water releases in Cumberland River Basin

Story by Bill Peoples on 02/21/2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 21, 2019) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District continues to monitor stream conditions throughout the Cumberland River Basin and to manage the release of water from its 10 dams as heavy rain continues to impact the region this week.

The basin has received two to five inches of rain over the past four days, four to seven inches of rain over the past seven days, and seven to 12 inches of rain over the past month. The latest forecast from the National Weather Service calls for three to four inches of rainfall in the next 72 hours. At this time, long-term forecasts are more positive with little precipitation expected beyond the next 72 hours.

Water conditions at the projects operated by the Nashville District are summarized below. The data presented represents conditions as of 3:30 p.m. today. For current conditions, go to River Status.

Martins Fork Dam (Smith, Ky.) The lake elevation is 1,324.72. Winter pool target elevation is 1,300. A total of 51 percent of the flood control pool is currently being utilized. Current discharge is about 1,150 cubic feet per second and the lake elevation is falling. With additional rainfall, the lake will more than likely rise some. The crest elevation for the uncontrolled spillway is 1,341. The pool of record is 1,331.63.

Laurel River Dam (London, Ky.) The lake elevation is 1,017.7. The crest elevation for the uncontrolled spillway is 1,018.5. The hydropower unit continues to generate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, releasing about 3,600 cfs.

Wolf Creek Dam at Lake Cumberland (Jamestown, Ky.) The lake elevation is 746.2. The flood control pool extends from elevation 723 to 760. The flood control pool is currently 60 percent full. Current discharge is now 35,000 cfs. The lake will continue to rise for the next several days ahead of the rainfall as inflows currently exceed outflows. The pool of record is 751.69. Many of the roadways leading to the lake have been closed off and the public is urged to be cautious when approaching these areas.

Dale Hollow Dam (Celina, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 655.58. The flood control pool extends from elevation 651 to 663. The flood control pool is currently 37 percent full. Discharge has been zero since Wednesday. With zero water being released from the project, the lake is continuing to rise. As soon as downstream conditions allow, the Corps of Engineers will initiate releases from the reservoir to regain storage as quickly as downstream conditions allow.

Cordell Hull Lock & Dam (Carthage, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 502.41. The winter pool band extends from 499 to 501. The lake elevation is dropping and will be back in this range in the next 48 hours. Current discharge is 64,000 cfs. The Corps of Engineers is planning on being able to cut releases from the project before the bulk of expected rainfall impacts the watershed.

Center Hill Dam (Lancaster, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 651.38. The flood control pool extends from elevation 648 to 685. The flood control pool is currently eight percent full. Discharge has been zero since Wednesday. With zero water being released from the project, the lake is continuing to rise. As soon as downstream conditions allow, we will initiate releases from the reservoir to regain storage as quickly as downstream conditions allow.

Old Hickory Lock & Dam (Old Hickory, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 444.52 and falling. The typical operating range at Old Hickory is 443 to 445. Current discharge is 97,000 cfs. As local runoff subsides, cuts from Cordell Hull make their way downstream, and the lake elevation continues to fall, the Corps of Engineers plans on decreasing releases from the project ahead of the rainfall.

J. Percy Priest Dam (Nashville, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 492.17. Winter pool is typically 483. The elevation at the top of the spillway gates is 504.5. The flood control pool is currently 35 percent full. Discharge is zero. With zero water being released from the project, the lake is continuing to rise. As soon as downstream conditions allow, the Corps of Engineers will initiate releases from the reservoir to regain storage as quickly as downstream conditions allow.

Cheatham Dam (Ashland City, Tenn.) The lake elevation is 386.56. The typical operating range at Cheatham is 384 to 386. Current discharge is 118,000 cfs. All spillway gates at Cheatham are raised clear of the water surface and the project is in free flow.

Barkley Dam (Grand Rivers, Ky.) The lake elevation is 356.8 and rising slightly. The winter pool target elevation is 354. The flood control pool is currently nine percent full. Current discharge is 136,000 cfs. The project is being operated in coordination with Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kentucky Dam to reduce flooding on the lower Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

The following are current statuses for Cumberland River damage centers and forecast information:

Celina, Tenn. The stage is 25.75 feet and falling. Increases made today at Wolf Creek Dam will stabilize the stage followed by a possible sharp rise as the rainfall impacts the area. The stage is forecasted to crest at 33.2 feet. Action stage is 35 feet and flood stage is 40 feet. The Ohio River Forecast Center is the agency tasked with issuing river stage forecasts and the Celina forecast can be accessed at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?gage=clat1&wfo=ohx.

At 40 feet, flooding begins in and around Celina, affecting homes and properties on West Lake Road, Clark Circle, Breyer Street, Cumberland Drive, Waterview Drive, Waterview Lane, Waste Water Road, River Drive, Yale Drive, the Riverside neighborhood, River Road, and Ross Boles Road. Water approaches the County Circuit Court building, the County Road Commission office, and properties on Spring Street and River Avenue.

At 38 feet, water continues to impact low lying areas along the river and the adjacent tributaries. The athletic fields at the high school and the county park are mostly covered with water. In Celina, West Lake Road is covered with water limiting access to homes and properties on Clark Circle, Breyer Street, Cumberland Drive, Waterview Drive, Waterview Lane, and Waste Water Road. Water approaches homes on River Drive and Yale Drive, the Riverside neighborhood, and along River Road.

At 35 feet, water begins to impact low lying areas along the river and the adjacent tributaries, including Kettle Creek, Proctor Creek, Obey River, Knob Creek, and Mill Creek. Water approaches the athletic fields at Clay County High School, the Clay County Park, and properties along Breyer Street and Waste Water Road.
Carthage, Tenn. The stage is 29.44 feet and falling. The stage will continue a slow fall over the next 24 hours due to reductions in discharge from Cordell Hull. The stage is expected to rise following the rainfall this weekend and the stage is forecast to crest at 30.8 feet. Action stage is 35 feet and flood stage is 40 feet. The Ohio River Forecast Center is the agency tasked with issuing river stage forecasts and the Carthage forecast can be accessed at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=ohx&gage=ctht1&prob_type=stage&source=hydrograph.

Notable stages at Carthage and their impacts are listed below; with the current forecast none of these impacts are anticipated.

At 37 feet, water continues to impact agricultural and low lying areas along the river, and impacts roads and properties near Watervale Lane and County House Circle in the Watervale community, the Carthage Speedway, Swope Road, Industrial Drive, Jefferson Avenue West, and Upper Ferry Rd in Carthage. Athletic fields in Hartsville along Little Goose Creek are flooded as well as portions of Latti Reese Road, and water approaches Conty Park on Lock 7 Lane, and property near the Walmart Supercenter in Carthage.

At 35 feet, agricultural and low lying areas along the river are impacted by high water, as well as adjacent tributaries including the Caney Fork River, Ward Creek, Peytons Creek, Round Lick Creek, Wilburn Creek, Dixon Creek, and Goose Creek. Athletic fields along Little Goose Creek in Hartsville are covered with water, as well as portions of Watervale Ln/County House Cir. Water approaches properties along Swope Rd, Industrial Dr, Jefferson Ave West, and Upper Ferry Rd in Carthage.

At 32 feet, water begins to approach and impact low lying areas along the river, and backs up adjacent tributaries including the Caney Fork River, Ward Creek, Peytons Creek, Round Lick Creek, Wilburn Creek, Dixon Creek, Goose Creek, and Little Goose Creek. Water approaches Watervale Land and County House Circle, and the Carthage Speedway.

Nashville, Tenn. – The stage is 36.34 feet and steady. Rainfall projections over the next 72 hours have the stage cresting at 40.3 feet Saturday. Flood stage is 40 feet. The Ohio River Forecast Center is the agency tasked with issuing river stage forecasts and the Nashville forecast can be accessed at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=ohx&gage=nast1&prob_type=stage&source=hydrograph. Some notable stages and their impacts are below:

At 44 feet, industrial properties and structures along the river are impacted, and Cowan Street and Cowan Court are flooded and likely impassable. Water begins to approach property at the end of Anthes Drive, and cover portions of Davidson Street, Cement Plant Road, North First Street, and Oldham Street. These roads may be impassable at higher levels.

At 42 feet, Riverfront Park is flooded to the fourth grassy area, as well as other recreational and greenway areas along the river. Portions of Cowan Street and Cowan Court are flooded and may be impassable. Industrial properties on Davidson Street, North First Street, Cowan Street and Cowan Court are also flooded.

At 41 feet, further flooding of industrial areas on Cement Plant Road, Cowan Street, Cowan Court, and Davidson Street occurs. Water also approaches Cowan Street and Cowan Court and these roads may be closed at higher levels.

At 40 feet, flooding of property along the river from the I-24 Bridge to the I-65 Bridge occurs, including industrial areas on Adams Street, Cement Plant Road, Cowan Street, Cowan Court, and Davidson Street.

At 38 feet, water reaches the third grassy area of the riverfront landing, and is inundating other recreational and greenway areas along the river. Water also begins to approach industrial properties along the river on Adams Street, Cement Plant Road, Cowan Street, Cowan Court, and Davidson Street.

At 37 feet, further inundation of the riverfront recreation areas near Nissan Stadium is occurring, as well as access points along the river and portions of the Cumberland River Greenway.

At 35 feet, low lying areas along the river from the I-24 Bridge to I-65 Bridge are significantly inundated, including riverfront recreation areas and access points near Nissan Stadium. Industrial properties along the river should monitor further increases in river levels.

Clarksville, Tenn. The stage is 45.57 feet and steady. The stage is forecast to crest at 49.3 feet Sunday. Minor flood stage is 46 feet and moderate flood stage is 50 feet. The Ohio River Forecast Center is the agency tasked with issuing river stage forecasts and the Clarksville forecast can be accessed at https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=ohx&gage=ckvt1. Some notable stages and their impacts are below:

At 53 feet, aricultural, industrial, and commercial properties along the river and its adjacent tributaries continue to be flooded. Portions of Riverside Drive are flooded between Cumberland Drive and Providence Boulevard and may be impassable, as well as locations near Quarry Road, Kraft Street at College Street and Providence Boulevard, Zinc Plant Road, Salem Road, and Seven Mile Ferry Road. Water also floods athletic fields near TN-48 and Greenland Farms Drive, and properties on Branch Road.

At 50 feet, most agricultural areas along the river are flooded, as well as many industrial and commercial properties, Riverfront Park, and adjacent tributaries. Riverside Drive in Clarksville begins to flood near TN-48, Providence Boulevard, Mc Clure Street, and Cumberland Drive. Also impacted are locations near Quarry Road, Kraft Street near College Street and Providence Boulevard, Zinc Plant Road, Salem Road, and Seven Mile Ferry Road. Water approaches athletic fields near Greenland Farms Drive, and properties on Branch Road.

At 48 feet, flooding continues to impact agricultural, industrial, and commercial properties, Riverfront Park, and adjacent tributaries including Bartons Creek, Red River, West Fork Red River, and Yellow Creek. Impacted locations include Riverside Drive near TN-48 and Providence Boulevard, Quarry Road, Kraft Street near College Street, Zinc Plant Road, and properties near Salem Road and Seven Mile Ferry Road. Water approaches properties near Kraft Street and Providence Boulevard, and begins to cover Riverside Drive at Mc Clure Street and near Cumberland Drive.

At 46 feet, flood waters begin to impact areas along the river, including agricultural and commercial properties, Riverfront Park, and adjacent tributaries including Bartons Creek, Red River, West Fork Red River, and Yellow Creek. Affected locations include South Riverside Drive near TN-48, North Riverside Drive near Providence Boulevard East, Quarry Road, Kraft Street near College Street, and Zinc Plant Road. Water approaches properties near Salem Road and Seven Mile Ferry Road.

At 45 feet, water approaches commercial and industrial properties on South Riverside Drive near TN-48, North Riverside Drive near Providence Boulevard East, Quarry Road, Kraft Street near College Street, and Zinc Plant Road. Water also continues to inundate agricultural areas and parks along the river, and adjacent tributaries including Bartons Creek, Red River, West Fork Red River, and Yellow Creek.

AT 43 feet, water continues to inundate low lying areas along the river, including agricultural areas, access points, portions of Riverfront Park on North Riverside Drive, and low lying areas of industrial property on Zinc Plant Road. Water also backs up adjacent tributaries, including Bartons Creek, Red River, West Fork Red River, and Yellow Creek.

At 40 feet, low lying areas along the river, including agricultural areas, access points, and portions of Riverfront Park on North Riverside Drive begin to be inundated. Water also backs up adjacent tributaries, including Bartons Creek, Red River, West Fork Red River, and Yellow Creek.

For more information about how the Nashville District operates the Cumberland River Reservoir System, see the Water Management Education Series at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/WaterManagement/EducationSeries.aspx.

As necessary, news and information regarding water management and flood operations will be made available on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps. For more information about the Memphis District (Mississippi River), go to http://www.mvm.usace.army.mil/. For more information about the Louisville District (lower Ohio River), go to http://www.lrl.usace.army.mil/.

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