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TVA Dam Light/Horn Warning System Has Been a Big Success

leah kirk

It’s been five years since TVA set about the task of modifying warning systems at 11 dams, most of which are upstream from trout holding tailwaters. At the very least the new warning system will save lives and a lot of fast water wading syndrome.

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. Changes occurred a 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.

The upgraded systems now activates only strobe light warning systems at night before water level changes are made. Modifications will improve public safety during water releases from the dams. Warning horns are longer activated at night at 12 dams so nearby residences will not be disturbed. New signs have been placed to inform the public that warning sirens or horns will no longer be used during night-time hours.