TVA plans to make Pickwick Dam safer to withstand extreme earthquakes

TVA plans to make Pickwick Dam safer

TVA plans to make Pickwick Dam safer to withstand extreme earthquakes

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - You may be one of the people who felt the earth move during the 4.4 earthquake Wednesday.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says none of their dams are damaged but the threat of an earthquake could impact dams and facilities near the New Madrid seismic zone, which includes northwest Alabama.

“Ensuring all the dams remain safe! Most of our dams have been in place for more than one hundred years and we never had any problem, but dams are machines just like anything else. So you have to do inspection and maintenance on them,” said TVA public information officer Jim Hopson.

Hopson says since northwest Alabama is in the seismic zone of the new Madrid Fault line they’re working to add more safety measurements to secure Pickwick Dam.

Hopson says the new Madrid fault line is in Missouri and the last time it shifted was in the 1800s. He says since Thursday’s earthquake they will work to reinforce Pickwick Dam by installing warning system o for possible threats, and creating a leveled space to add rock on the south side of the dam.

“We will be enhancing the strength of the embankment beginning in spring 2019 and probably going to finish in spring 2022 we will be working to strengthen it," said Hopson.

Hopsons says once the project is complete the dam should be able to with stand an extreme earthquake.

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