'Turbulent water' - High water closes boat ramps, water sport rentals downtown Chattanooga

The Chickamauga Dam is spilling seven times more water than normal due to heavy rain. (Image: WTVC)

High water forced some business to stop services Monday along the downtown riverfront.

Chattanooga Ducks tours were not operating, and Rock Creek and L2 Outside did not offer water sport rentals for that area.

Boat ramps were also closed at the Tennessee Riverpark.

"Right now we are spilling about seven times more water than we would normally on a day like this," Malinda Hunter with TVA said.

Signs and piers are partially submerged in water. Caution tape is blocking those areas off.

"Over about a 48 hour period there were seven to eight inches, so all that water has to move downstream," Hunter said. "What we are spilling here at Chickamauga is some of that water."

A sign at L2 Outside let customers know rentals weren't available due to unsafe river conditions.

This sign lets l2 customers know there aren't rentals available today because of unsafe river conditions

"It's a super strong current and there's a strong undertow because the water is being let out from the dam upstream, so people can get taken underwater and pushed down the shore very quickly," Spencer Dubose with L2 Outside said.

When conditions are like this, Hunter says be smart and don't take chances.

"There's a lot of turbulent water so you want to stay away from that spill area," Hunter said. "We are moving all this water through to help protect people in these areas and maintain a good river flow and prevent flooding."

TVA expects the levels to be back to normal within a few days.

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