Army Corps Explains Water Release From Dams - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Army Corps Explains Water Release From Dams


Flood victims are wondering why the Army Corps of Engineers decided to release water through a dam during the worst of the flooding.

"I would just like to know what went on," said Tim Garrett, who lives where the Stones River meets the Cumberland River.

He said after the rain ended early Sunday night, he hadn't experienced flooding.

"We basically thought we were out of the woods, so to speak," said Garrett.

But then the waters at his apartment started rising.

The Army Corps of Engineers believes water released from the Old Hickory Dam just up the Cumberland River caused Garrett's apartment to flood.

"We had to make some tough calls," said Lt. Col. Anthony Mitchell.

Sunday night, with the water reaching 7 inches from flooding Old Hickory Dam, the Corps decided to start releasing water, knowing it would head downstream toward Nashville.

"We empathize with anyone who has lost anything by any means, but I want to reassure that the Corps is doing everything it can to try and mitigate to prevent those things," said Mitchell.

Corps officials said they weren't anticipating the amount of water now standing behind the dams. They thought they would get 7 inches of rain; instead, they got 13.

The Corps said the loss of Old Hickory Dam would have resulted in an additional 4 feet of water in downtown Nashville.

Garrett said he understands.

"No. 1 is public safety, and if we got flooded some, so be it," he said.

The Cheatham Dam is under water now, and the Army Corps of Engineers said it will be damaged.

But they said it's designed to be under water if need be and that the dam's true purpose is not flood control but rather help in the navigation of boats.

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