Drier Than Usual?

By: Allison Hunt Email
By: Allison Hunt Email

Knoxville (WVLT) We've been recording weather data in Tennessee for 117 years.

And the TVA says not once has December through February been as dry.

You can already see the problems that's causing, brush fires have been burning everywhere.

Homes destroyed, hundreds of acres burned.

And soon you may see the effects on local waterways.

Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt has more on this could affect the community.

Since January 1st of this year, Tennessee has had just over 4 and a half inches of rain.

The normal rainfall is 10 inches.

And that could mean problems for boaters, anglers, and just about anyone who recreates on waterways managed by TVA.

It's been the driest 3 months on record for East Tennessee.

Connie Perry, manager of the Lighthouse Marina on Norris Lake says, "a dock had to be moved all the way to another location or it'd been sitting on dry land."

Perry, says she's seen what the effects of dry weather can do and she says if the water stays low.

"We're gonna have some customers who ain't gonna be very happy, it does need to get up there a little more."

Eric Schwegman, a fisherman says "it's always better when it's up a little bit because there's more cover on the shorelines and everything."

For fishermen Schwegman, low water levels do not make for a good day on the lake.

"You're also looking for some of those spots to fish, obviously if they are high and dry you can't fish on them."

The dry weather also has TVA watching the next few months very closely.

Gil Francis, with TVA says "ordinarily you have normal rainfall, you get so many megawatts of power because it's been dry, we've not been able to generate as much power but we're still meeting the downstream needs."

Downstream needs like water supply, TVA says it's not a problem now but something they'll keep a wary eye on, as long as it remains dry.

Francis continues, "we're gonna manage whatever rain we get, to keep those levels as high as we can get them, but right now it's not gonna impact you."

TVA says it's still too early to say where the water level will be by June 1st and what kind of effect this will have, that all depends on the amount of rainfall.

And if it's another dry 3 months, Francis says the water levels will probably not be as high as you would want them to be, bad news for your boat prop or your favorite swimming hole, this summer.


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