80 years of power and flood control
Friday, May 17, 2013
Photos courtesy TVA
On May 18, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill creating the Tennessee Valley Authority. The following March, Tupelo, Miss., became the first city to get electric power from TVA.
Over the past 80 years, TVA has been involved in power generation, and the lakes it manages are important to flood control, navigation and recreation. The agency has been a part of life in the south -- including Bedford County.
Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the bill creating TVA. He is surrounded by various members of Congress from the TVA region, including Sen. George Norris of Nebraska, often called the "Father of TVA," and after whom Norris Dam and the nearby town are named. Norris is at the president's left shoulder wearing a bow tie.
Before TVA took control of the Tennessee Valley watershed, flooding was a major problem, as seen here in Clinton. TVA estimates that billions of dollars in flood damage have been averted due to its flood control projects, including $800 million this year alone.
Normandy Dam was completed in 1976. The 110-foot-high dam stretches 2,870 feet across the Duck River.
Engineers at a TVA laboratory in Norris test a scale model of Tims Ford Dam to see how the dam's spillway will function. Work on the dam began in 1966 and was completed in 1970.
TVA brought affordable electric power to communities and individuals who'd never had it before, dramatically changing the quality of life. Here, a newly-connected family takes delivery of its first electric appliances.
Created during the New Deal, TVA played a part in many aspects of southern life. A TVA nitrate plant at Muscle Shoals, Ala., produced this fertilizer.