Corps says Dam Release Prevented Additional Flooding

Emergency officials are defending the decision to release water from area dams, despite calls from people worried that the move will exacerbate flooding.

Stephen Halford heads up Emergency Management Efforts for Metro Nashville. He says his phone banks have taken a number of calls from people concerned about the release. But he points out that water is constantly allowed through dams as a normal part of controlling a river’s flow.

“The release of water from the dam is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.”

A statement from the Army Corps of Engineers says water levels behind Old Hickory Dam reached a record high of just over 450 feet on Sunday afternoon. That’s seven inches below the top of the dam. Without the release of water, officials say the lake itself would have flooded. They estimate that if that control had been lost, the Cumberland River could have risen an additional four feet downstream in downtown Nashville.

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