200108 Wilson Dam 1

In this Jan. 8 file photos, millions of gallons of water roar through the spillways at Wilson Dam. The Tennessee River at Florence was 4 feet above flood stage on Monday.  [MATT MCKEAN/TIMESDAILY]

The Tennessee River at Florence was 4 feet above flood stage on Monday, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority's River Forecast Center, and is predicted to rise at least another 2 feet this week.

River Forecast Center Senior Manager James Everett said during a conference call on Monday the amount of rain the Shoals receives will determine how much higher the river rises.

He said TVA updates its river level forecasts four times per day. That information can be found on TVA.gov, or the TVA Lake Level app.

During the conference call, Everett said rainfall amounts for February as of Monday were 300% to 400% higher than normal.

"There was some very impressive rainfall last week," Everett said. "We expect rainfall to continue pretty much daily this week — today, Tuesday and Thursday. We're expecting rainfall in some form or fashion every day this week."

He said another 3 to 5 inches are forecast through Thursday, but Everett said some isolated areas could see rainfall in the 6- to 7-inch range.

With the ground already saturated, Everett said additional rainfall will produce heavy runoff into TVA reservoirs.

He said TVA uses tributary dams like Norris, Cherokee, Douglas to store water in the Tennessee River tributary system.

"We will continue storing water in those lakes this week to help alleviate flooding immediately below those dams, and reduce flows into the main stem Tennessee River," he said.

Even with the tributary dams holding back water, Everett said localized runoff will still cause the Tennessee River to continue rising.

Everett said levels on Pickwick, Wheeler, Wilson and Guntersville lakes are expected to be "near summer pool levels, and in some cases above summer pool."

He said areas below Pickwick Dam, including Savannah and Clifton, Tennessee, are above flood stage and could exceed major flood stage.

TVA is expected to hold another conference call today regarding lake levels.


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