Why doesn’t the Cumberland River freeze over anymore?

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —  Nashville experienced a very cold end to January in 1940.

In fact, on Jan. 25 the high was only 15 degrees and the next day the low temperature was four below zero.

That was cold enough for the Cumberland River to freeze.

Frozen Cumberland River
(Courtesy: Metro Nashville archives)

In fact the ice was so thick that people walked across the river and even a few ice skated on it too!

Five-year-old Henderson even walked over the river with his parents.

Frozen Cumberland River
(Courtesy: Metro Nashville archives)

The cold snap finally ended on Jan. 29 when high temps hit 36 degrees.

So why doesn’t the Cumberland River freeze anymore? The dam system was built on the river and that keeps the water flowing.

That current in the main channel keeps the river from freezing but some creeks still can freeze over like Drakes Creek in Hendersonville because there is less of a current.

The News 2 StormTracker team is taking a closer look at new plans and upgraded tools for winter weather preparedness. See special reports all day Wednesday, Nov. 13th in every newscast.

Frozen Cumberland River
(Courtesy: Metro Nashville archives)

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