The Tennessee Valley Authority recently celebrated 80th Norris Dam by sluicing water from the sluice gates the structure on the Clinch River to the delight of thousands of people in attendance. Tours of the Norris Dam powerhouse facility were available to the first time to the public since the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001.
The dam was built in an area formerly called Cove Creek. The nation was still in the grips of the Great Depression. TVA relocated approximately 2,337 families. Of the 2,337 families located, only five filed lawsuits, he said. All were settled out of court, except one, which was kicked out. Forty percent of residents didn’t own their own land and received no money from the government for relocation. Landowners received an average $3,000 payment.
Norris Dam took 2.5 years to build. In March 1936, the last gate on the dam closed and the lake was filled by October. Today, Norris Dam is 265 feet high and 1,860 feet long. It holds back the Clinch River, forming a lake covering more than 33,000 acres and creating more than 800 miles of shoreline. Norris Dam can generate up to 110 megawatts of electricity.