USGS: Several Tennessee Rivers Set Records

NASHVILLE, May 6 (UPI) — A U.S. Geological Survey study shows many rivers in middle Tennessee set high flow records due to heavy rainfall last weekend.

Preliminary estimates released Thursday show the highest stream flows were observed from Nashville west toward Jackson, extending about 40-miles north and south of Interstate 40 and affecting major tributaries of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers.

Flows on the Harpeth River exceeded 46,000 cubic feet per second May 3, while the Duck River near Hurricane Mills flowed at 138,000 cfs May 4, exceeding the previous high by 17,000 cfs, the USGS said.

Flood peaks on the Harpeth near Bellevue, Piney River at Vernon, and Duck River at Hurricane Mills appear to have exceeded levels expected with only a 0.2 percent probability (1 in 500 chance) in any given year.

Peaks on the Red River at Port Royal and Buffalo River near Flatwoods and at Lobelville exceeded those expected with only a 0.5 percent probability (1 in 200 chance) and peaks at Mill Creek at Thompson Lane and Big Sandy River at Bruceton exceeded those expected with 1 percent (1 in 100) probability, officials said.

“The flows on these rivers were much greater than anticipated based on previous experience and exceeded those observed in both the 1975 and 1927 floods,” said Rodney Knight, surface-water specialist with the USGS Tennessee Water Science Center. “Several of these estimates were based on the last observations received by satellite before our stream gages were submerged,” he said.

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