As wet weather raises lakes to brim, TVA opens drains to make room10:11 am | January 24, 2013
To say it was a little wet last week might be a bit of an understatement.
Most Carter County residents probably noticed the persistent rain, as well as the heavy snowfall that forced cars off the road and caused power outages throughout the county.
A few others noticed how the winter weather was affecting the local environment. On Watauga Lake, for example, the Rat
Branch launch point was almost submerged in floodwater.
Although water levels are at unseasonably high levels, officials with the Tennessee Valley Authority said they have already started draining the lakes in anticipation of more winter storms.
TVA spokesperson Travis Brickey said that, in wintertime, the lake levels are lowered specifically to accommodate precipitation.
“This is a good example of why we lower the lakes every year, because we need the storage space,” Brickey said. “We got a tremendous amount of rain, and we had to start moving water down the Tennessee River.”
Brickey elaborated, saying that the lakes’ water storage capacities are usually tested during winter, because of the lack of plant life.