TVA says Pickwick Dam not up to current earthquake standards

April 1– The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning a series of public meetings to help inform Hardin County residents of safety enhancements to be put in place at Pickwick Dam.

TVA is working to avert the potential for a dam break which officials say could cause the Tennessee River to rise to the level experienced in Hardin County in 2013 – but in as little as an hour instead of over a period of days.

Questions have arisen over the last six months since TVA announced it was lowering Pickwick Lake levels to winter pool a month early for a “health check.”

Is the dam in danger of failure? Was it built properly? Is it safe to drive on? Is it safe to live downstream? 

TVA officials in September said the level was being lowered early out of an “abundance of caution,” and to facilitate testing of the structural integrity of the southern embankment during a seismic event – meaning an earthquake.


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