The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has averted about $800m in flood damages to communities along the Tennessee River and its tributaries in the month of January 2013.

During the course of the month, the eastern part of the Tennessee Valley, including Knoxville and the Tri-Cities area, received nearly 10 inches of rain and the area below Chattanooga and West Tennessee averaged about 8 inches of rain.

TVA employed its 49 dams to store and then gradually releases water following the rainfall, which was the third largest recorded rainfall and runoff.

TVA River Operations and Renewables senior vice president John McCormick said that the authority holds the water in dams in order to minimize the impacts of downstream flood.

"After the high water crested on the Tennessee River and its tributary rivers, we started gradually releasing water out of the tributary reservoirs to recover storage space and to prepare for the next rain event," added McCormick.

TVA continues to release water to recover flood storage space at most of its dams including all nine dams on the Tennessee River.

Surplus water is also being released using spillway gates or sluice gates along with generators operating at maximum capacity at all 29 hydro generating dams, producing about 3,300MW of electricity.