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TVA Modifies Warning Systems at 11 Dams

norris dam
Norris Dam is one of 11 TVA dams being modified. Image by John Disque

The Tennessee Valley Authority is modifying warning systems at 11 dams. The upgraded systems will activate only strobe light warning systems at night before water level changes are made. Modifications will improve public safety during water releases from the dams.

A new warning system has been installed at Watauga Dam which 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.

Warning horns will no longer be activated at night at 12 dams so nearby residences will not be disturbed. New signs will will be placed to inform the public that warning sirens or horns will no longer be used during night-time hours.

These changes should be complete by October 30 at the following dams: Appalachia Dam, Blue Ridge Dam, Cherokee Dam, Douglas Dam, Fort Patrick Henry Dam, Great Falls Dam, Norris Dam, Ocoee No. 1 Dam, South Holston Dam, Tims Ford Dam, and Wilbur 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."

For more information about avoiding the dangers surrounding dams, locks, and powerhouses go to:

Published September 24, 2011

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