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Heavy Rain Forces Dale Hollow Dam To Open Spillways

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Heavy Rain Forces Dale Hollow Dam To Open Spillways

The Dale Hollow Lake Dam opened its spillways this week for just the 11th time in 70 years due to an abundance of rain.

Power Plant Superintendent Stanley Carter said the dam usually stores excess water as flood control, but the water got higher than normal and needed to be drained. Carter said the last time the spillway gates were opened was in 2009.

“There would have been a substantial amount of water that would have went down the Obey and went into the Cumberland, and yeah I would say there would have been some flooding that would have taken place,” Carter said, “Absolutely. Because our water, our headwater came up by about 4 feet.”

Carter said the dam was designed to contain even worse flood events, able to handle eight more feet of water than where it is now. He said that the dam not only protects against floods, but that this water has the potential to provide power to some 45,000 residents.

“We are here to protect everything downstream from where we’re at, and, and to provide very cheap, cost-effective electricity to the region.” Carter said. “Protecting people’s lives and producing power, that’s what we do.”

Carter said that usually any excess rain is let through the generator to produce more power, but once it reaches the spillway gates the plant will release it.

“It seems like it has occurred more often in the last few years than it has previously,” Carter said.

Carter said that when he first began his job it had been 19 years since the last spill. Now, he said the spills seem to occur every few years.


The post Heavy Rain Forces Dale Hollow Dam To Open Spillways appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.