May 1, 2012 — TVA will continuing holding the water level in Blue Ridge Reservoir at approximately 1,672 feet (its current elevation) at least through the end of July 2012. This means the reservoir will remain below normal summer pool for this year.
Blue Ridge Dam is safe and stable. There is no change in the dam’s ability to hold water.
Because public safety is TVA’s number one priority, we are being overly cautious and holding the reservoir at this level after we saw unexpected ground movement on March 7, 2012. This movement occurred during the completion of the two-year Blue Ridge Dam rehabilitation project.
To ensure long-term dam safety, we are conducting significant monitoring, testing and analysis on the earlier ground movement at the dam. Holding the reservoir steady provides TVA consistent conditions for collecting the data necessary to complete a full engineering evaluation. It removes the variable of fluctuating water pressure against the dam from monitoring readings. This will allow us to determine if additional long-term stability work is necessary before completing the dam rehabilitation project.