A wet weather system that unexpectedly rolled up from North Carolina did produce Watauga Lake’s highest water level on record, but it also has set in place what Tennessee Valley Authority officials said Thursday will be a first-rate fill for summer recreation.
The word of choice among local emergency management personnel and lake dwellers has more times than not been “inconvenience,” not “disaster,” after the record high of 1,966.5 feet above sea level water mark at Watauga had many feeling antsy about their safety.
“It just rained and rained and rained,” said Chuck Bach, TVA general manager of river scheduling, during an annual visit to the Johnson City Press that just happened to coincide with the recent rains. “We get 60 percent of our rainfall between January and March. The last couple of weekends we’ve been moving water out but we’re also using that water to fill our reservoirs. It’s put us 30 percent ahead of normal for (power generation purposes).”
For more on this story, see the Johnson City Press.