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With rainfall across the Tennessee Valley nearly 13 inches above normal already this year, TVA continues to use its spillways on most of its mainstream dams to draw down rain-swollen reservoirs.

But TVA river managers reduced the flow through the Chickamauga Dam on Monday to allow daytime barge traffic to resume through the Nickajack Gorge, just west and downstream of downtown Chattanooga.

After up to 1.8 inches of rain fell Sunday in parts of the Tennessee Valley following the wettest first quarter of any year in history, TVA was spilling more than 103,000 cubic feet per second of water through the Chickamauga Dam Sunday and early Monday, choking off any river traffic due to high currents in Chattanooga. But TVA eased the flow later Monday to allow barge traffic to resume. With no major rains forecast until the end of the week, TVA hopes to bring Chickamauga Lake near its normal springtime levels this week.

"Chickamauga is back down to about elevation 680, normal for this time of year, and we expect to remain within that range this week and are looking out to the next round of rainfall (about 1 inch) expected later this week," TVA spokesman Travis Brickey said.

 

Charter Communications raising pay to $20 an hour

Charter Communications said Monday there will be no layoffs or furloughs for at least the next 60 days and the company is continuing with its plans to boost wages for all hourly workers from $15 to $20 over the next two years.

Charter said it will give an immediate increase of $1.50 an hour for the front-line field and customer operations employees and an additional $1.50 starting March 2021, on top of an annual merit increase.

The cable TV giant also said it is giving three weeks of COVID-19 related flex time, in addition to any paid administrative leave, due to COVID-19 exposure. Charter also said it is enhancing health plans to waive costs for diagnostic testing services and Telehealth visits for 90 days.

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