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TVA prepares for flooding in new year

The rain continues to pour in north Alabama as waters continue to rise – with 2019 coming in at a close second for the largest amount of rainfall in a year.

Tennessee Valley Authority river operations support manager Darrell Guinn said 66.47 inches of rain fell throughout the past year, narrowly missing 2018’s record-setting number of 67.02 inches of rain.

In 2019 the TVA spent $1.8 billion across the Tennessee Valley to account for flood damages, with $1.6 billion of that being spent on flood damages from 11 inches of rain in February.

This breaks the TVA record for the most money diverted for flood damages.

In recent months, rain has picked back up, with parts of northern Alabama seeing as much as 13.5 inches of rainfall at the end of December.

“The National Weather Service is calling for above average rainfall in the next three months, and we are preparing for any impacts this might bring to the Tennessee River system,” said TVA public relations officer Malinda Hunter.

TVA is currently trying to move water downstream in preparation for additional rain in the upcoming months.

“Flooding is why winter drawdowns are so important,” explained TVA public and community relations representative Scott Fiedler. “Preparing for the recent rains, TVA’s River Forecast Center has been spilling excess water at all nine Tennessee River dams and continues to release large amounts of water from tributary dams to recover and preserve flood storage.”

The closest TVA dam is Wilson Dam in between Muscle Shoals and Florence, approximately 20 miles from Franklin County.