This is part of a series introducing student writers from Tri County Community College
Located in the western-most part of North Carolina Hiwassee Dam is an excellent community site for visitors and locals alike. You can see wildlife of all species and find out about the background of the dam and the history behind Tennessee Valley Authority River Systems. Hiwassee Dam is off of Highway 294 on Hiwassee Dam Access Road. When turning at the intersection off of Highway 294 one can see the historical marker for the Hiwassee Dam. Located about five miles from the 294 intersection Hiwassee Dam is extremely difficult to avoid because one has to drive over this 307 feet high and 1,376 feet wide handmade dam that took nearly four years to build to continue down the road.
After crossing the Dam, on the right side of the road is a small parking lot with a model turbine in the center of it. This small pavilion area seats about forty people and has several historical markers to identify the history of Hiwassee Dam. As you look out towards the Dam, you will see the Hiwassee Reservoir. Being surrounded by the Nantahala and Cherokee National Forest, this site offers an abundance of wildlife for viewing. The Hiwassee Reservoir has the flood storage capacity of 205,600 feet. With an average temperature of fifty-seven degrees, Hiwassee Reservoir provides access for boating, fishing, and exploring the lake and its tributes. Hiwassee Dam can be used for many other purposes like power generation for the Tennessee Valley region. The Reservoir and Dam together help provide hydroelectric power.
Hydroelectric Power is a greener source of energy and can be produced by water ran through a generating unit. The impact of water from the reservoir released through the dam spins the blades of a turbine. Allowing the water to pass through the turbine at a high speed is what generates electricity through the generator, which is connected to the turbine. The water is then released into the river on the downstream side of the dam. Hydroelectric power represents eleven percent of The Tennessee Valley Authority’s total revenue. Hiwassee Dam is one of twenty-nine hydroelectric dams in The Tennessee Valley Authority’s River Systems.
To find out more information about Hiwassee Dam, The Hiwassee Reservoir or The Tennessee Valley Authority one may go to the Tennessee Valley Authority website athttp://www.tva.gov. With regard to the group pavilion at the Hiwassee Reservoir and to make reservations for the pavilion, contact TVA’s toll-free number, (866) 494-7186.
See Also: McGuire Millrace Farm written by Stefanie
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