Seismic warning system is installed at Pickwick Landing Dam

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HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — A new warning system is in the works at Pickwick Landing Dam to alert residents if there is a concern of flooding following an earthquake. The Tennessee Valley Authority is working on a new way to monitor seismic activity on the south banks of the dam by installing new cables to measure ground movement. “We became aware of the seismic concerns with the south embankment last fall, at which time we began to lower the head waters because of the concerns we had with the south embankment due to the influence of an earthquake condition,” senior project manager Bernie Auld said. The main concern is solely along the south embankment. There is more than three miles of cables buried to measure any movement that could occur during seismic activity Auld said the cables are hooked to monitors that would send alerts. “Upon any type of notification or alert that we would receive, we’re in the process of parsing composite video, a video monitor, that we can in turn see if there is any deformation of the dam or any concerns that we have with the dam.” TVA will be working with the National Weather Service to send out alerts through weather radios to those living in the flood zone. “They would end up receiving the same type of warning as if there were a tornado or storm event like that.” Those within the area who do not own a weather radio will be given one within the next few weeks. Auld said the main concern is informing residents of the potential dangers of the area. “We will be working with the local EMAs to roll out an education process at which we can educate the people downstream of the dam concerning any type of breach condition or over type condition of the south embankment,” Auld said. TVA workers had to lower water levels to work on the project. They plan to raise the water back to normal levels by mid-April.

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