TVA updates drought status for rivers and lakes in the region
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “Normal” rainfall over the last month has greatly relieved drought conditions in the Tennessee Valley.
The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows the Chattanooga area improving to the “extreme drought” category (2nd worst designation).
TVA reports that we have gotten 4.48 inches of rain in the region over the last 30 days.
4.62 inches is considered normal for this time of year.
But the good news for farmers and growers has translated to better runoff for TVA.
“Over the last 30 days, we’ve been just about normal on precipitation, but we’ve only been about at 60 percent of normal of normal of runoff,” explains James Everett (pictured above), manager of Operations Support for the River Operations Center. “With snow especially, it tends to evaporate or slowly sink into the ground, evaporating or recharging groundwater, but not reaching the river system.”
Still, most TVA river systems are at normal winter levels now, with the exception of Watauga in the Tri-Cities area,
“So long as we continue to get normal precipitation throughout the winter, runoff levels will slowly but surely catch up,” Everett explains.
“We’ve had adequate storage and for the most part haven’t had to spill any water for flood control,” he says. “Rather, the rains have allowed us to improve our hydro generation levels at the time we need it most.”