What A Waste

We've all just become accustom to government waste. But sometimes we see an example of waste that just boggles the mind. 

If you've been over Fort Loudon Dam anytime lately, you have seen the "baskets" of sand stacked along the Tellico Parkway ramp and along the top of Tellico Dam. Somewhere, some egg headed professor came up with a brilliant idea. TVA has determined to stack four foot high baskets of sand on top of the dams just incase we ever get so much rain that water would overtop the dams. The problem is, TVA officials themselves admit that never in history has there been enough rain to cause that much flooding. Quote, “The magnitude of rainfall used in the calculations has never actually occurred in the region, but it could produce floodwaters that would be higher than previously thought,”

I hate to sound unprofessional, but that's about the stupidest statement I've ever heard. It's never happened, it can't happen but we better prepare for it just incase. Only in government can you get this kind of logic. The extra four feet will be added the the earthen embankments at Fort Loudon, Tellico, Cherokee and Watts Bar dams for an estimated cost of $8,000,000.00.

Next time you pay your utility bill, especially that silly "Fuel Surcharge" part, just remember what else you're paying for.

See TVA Press Release Below.

TVA To Raise Height of Four Dams

September 30, 2009

TVA is raising the elevation of four of its dams to help reduce the risk of flooding in the unlikely event of weather more extreme than any conditions ever recorded in the region. TVA will place temporary, wall-like structures on top of earthen embankments of the Fort Loudoun, Tellico, Cherokee and Watts Bar dams in East Tennessee, raising the top elevation of each embankment about four feet. The extra height would prevent water from overtopping and damaging the earthen embankments.

“TVA evaluates its dam safety program regularly,” said TVA River Scheduling General Manager Chuck Bach. “As technology and standards evolve and more or better data becomes available, we update our flood forecasting calculations to determine whether we need to change our flood control operation or modify our dams to better protect public safety.”

A recent update of TVA’s river modeling program determined that the maximum floodwater elevations could be higher than previously calculated if a highly unlikely, worst-case winter rainfall were to occur in the upper part of the Tennessee Valley watershed.

Bach stressed that this action is not related to recent rainfall that caused flooding in unregulated tributary streams, which was only a fraction of the amount used to forecast a “worst case scenario.”

“The magnitude of rainfall used in the calculations has never actually occurred in the region, but it could produce floodwaters that would be higher than previously thought,” said Bach. “Although the probability of such an event is extremely rare, TVA must design and operate its dams to safely withstand such events.”

He said structures to raise the embankments are scheduled for installation by Jan. 1, 2010, because large regional floods are most likely to occur in winter and early spring. The interim measures are expected to remain in place until long-term, permanent solutions can be identified, evaluated and implemented.

To calculate the maximum flood levels in its river modeling, TVA assumes an extremely large storm within the watershed area being evaluated, which is critically centered to produce maximum flood levels.

The higher predicted flood levels are the result of improved data gathered in part from experience gained during large storms, revised analysis of spillway water flow rates at dams, and higher initial reservoir levels in TVA’s new reservoir operating policy.

TVA is the nation’s largest public power provider and is completely self-financing. TVA provides power to large industries and 158 power distributors that serve approximately 9 million consumers in seven southeastern states. TVA also creates economic development opportunities and manages the Tennessee River system to provide multiple benefits, including flood damage reduction, navigation, water quality and recreation.