TVA reports record rainfall for 2020

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Tennessee Valley Authority has announced that the year 2020 has brought record rainfall to the Tennessee Valley. In fact, rainfall has been well above normal in the valley for the last three years.

Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee River

“2018 had been the record,” explained Darrell Guinn, TVA River Forecast Center Operations Support Manager. “We had an average rainfall across the Valley of 67.01″ of rainfall. And that was surpassed on the 13th of December. And so, here we are now sitting at 68.3 and counting, as we’ve seen some wet conditions overnight and into this morning.”

The Tennessee River’s watershed stretches from Southwest Virginia and Western North Carolina through North Georgia, North Alabama, and South and West Middle Tennessee. And it’s not just this year that it has seen record rainfall.

“Really looking at the real story of it, we had 13 consecutive months going back from September of 2019 through October of 2020 of above-normal rainfall on the month,” said Guinn. “I’m speaking in the Tennessee Valley, and that does include some of the Nashville area perspectives, around Tims Ford, the Duck River to the West. So this does speak for the entire general area of the Nashville area and Middle Tennessee.”

And there was also February of 2019 when 10-20 inches of rain fell in the Middle Tennessee area, producing major flooding.

February, 2019 Rainfall

But let’s not forget February of this year when heavy rainfall in the Tennessee River system led to a terrible tragedy, as three fishermen were killed when their boat went over the flood gates at Pickwick Dam.

Pickwick Dam on the Tennessee River

“With the record rainfall that we’ve seen, pay attention to your safety when you are around the facilities, the dams and below the dams,” said Guinn. “With above normal flows, just remember to be safe and keep yourself out of harm’s way.”

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