TVA Installs Warning System at Watauga Dam, Modifies 11 Others
September 23, 2011
ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority is installing a new safety warning system at Watauga Dam in Carter County, Tenn., and modifying others to improve public safety during water releases from the dams.
The Watauga Dam warning system, scheduled to begin operating Monday, Sept. 26, includes signs, warning horns and strobe lights to alert the public to water discharges that can cause a rapid rise in water levels below the dam. The warning horns will not be activated at night so nearby residences will not be disturbed.
Existing warning systems at 11 other dams are being modified to activate only strobe light warning systems at night prior to water level changes. New signs will inform the public that warning sirens or horns will not be used during night-time hours. These changes should be complete by Oct. 30 at the following dams:
|Appalachia Dam||Norris Dam|
|Blue Ridge Dam||Ocoee No. 1 Dam|
|Cherokee Dam||South Holston Dam|
|Douglas Dam||Tims Ford Dam|
|Fort Patrick Henry Dam||Wilbur Dam|
|Great Falls Dam|
“During daylight hours, the horns and strobe lights will be automatically activated prior to water level changes as a safety warning to the public. When the warning systems are activated, anglers and the public should quickly move to safe areas,” TVA Senior Vice President of River Operations John McCormick said. “At night, only the strobe lights will activate at these 12 dams to reduce noise at local residences. The warning systems at the other eight tributary dams and the nine dams on the Tennessee River will not change.”
Also being modified is the existing spillway warning system at Wilbur Dam. The powerhouse at Wilbur Dam has four generating units; three are operated manually and the fourth is operated remotely from TVA’s power control center in Chattanooga. TVA is modifying the warning system to activate automatically when unit four is turned on. Site personnel will continue to monitor downstream activity before the three manually controlled units are used. Wilbur Dam is located just downstream from Watauga Dam.
For more information about avoiding the dangers surrounding dams, locks, and powerhouses go to: http://www.tva.com/river/hazwater/.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 33,700 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
Travis Brickey, Knoxville, (865) 632-6263
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000