(BEDFORD COUNTY) TVA had originally said that they were going to release high volumes of water from the Normandy Dam starting Saturday. However, at 6:00AM (8/8/2020), they decided not to do that and water flo will remain normal all weekend. Enjoy the water kayakers!
The Bedford County Emergency Management (EMA) earlier warned Rutherford County and area kayakers who enjoy the Duck River to avoid the area when the gates are opened on the dam. TVA had planned on releasing 800 to 1,000 cubic feet of water per second at Normandy Dam, rather than the normal 160. This would have created very swift water and sudden changes in water level, with the potential of flood parking lots where persons enter the Duck River.
Duck River May Rise Suddenly
That was such a large outflow that it would have created dangers for anyone downstream on the Duck River. TVA decided to leave the water release at Normandy Dam at "normal".
If that had happened, TVA has given permission for Bedford County EMA to close the parking for river access points at Dement Bridge and Three Forks Bridge for safety.
Rutherford County Kayakers
Bedford County Media Coordinator John Carney told WGNS, "Bedford County EMA (Emergency Management Agency) and fire department believe a large percentage of kayakers on the Duck are from Rutherford County, as well as from Warren and Coffee counties."
He noted, "It’s kayaking, not fishing, that’s the main concern here. Kayak rental places are usually pretty responsible about shutting down in unsafe conditions; it’s those who own their own kayaks who are the problem, and who then get into trouble, endangering their own lives and pulling manpower and resources for rescue operations.
The easiest way for kayakers to determine this is through the TVA Lake Info app, available for both iOS and Android devices. ( https://www.tva.com/
Again, if TVA decides to let the water from the dam flow on Sunday, kayakers and water enthusiasts will again be prohibited from using the Duck River.
For more information about boating safety in Tennessee, go to TWRA’s website at https://www.tn.gov/…/b…/