Pickwick Dam Hardin County

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Local Dam Gives Exclusive Tour After 12 Year Hiatus

By Deneisha Pearson
By dpearson@wbbjtv.com

HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. -- It has been 12 years since cameras have been allowed inside Pickwick Dam.

People across the Mid-South gathered Thursday at the concrete barrier,spanning the Tennessee River to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

The Tennessee Valley Authority spokesman Chris Stanley said the dam produces tons of power.

"We produce enough power to power 134,000 homes.That's what's produced here on average per year," Stanley said.

Army engineer Brad Morgan said the last tour at the dam was back in 2001.

"What we have here is TVA as well as the Corps of Engineers," Morgan said. "We've worked together here on this project for the last 75 years."

Thursday, TVA and the Nashville Army Corps of Engineers collaborated for the dam's anniversary.

Morgan said it took 12 years to get another tour because they want to keep the dam safe.

"Because of a change to our security posture in terms of protection measures that have been instituted largely by the Department of Defense, as well as U.S. Government wide,"

Inside the dam are six powerful turbines producing electricity. Water comes in from the high end of the river and comes out through the tailwater side.

According to TVA officials it took 4,000 people and 10 million man hours to build the Pickwick Dam.

"We have some pictures of the valley before and after electricity came in and before and after the dams came in," Stanley said. "And you see a real difference in people's lives."

TVA officials say the dam has 652 miles of shoreline and recreation on the Tennessee River which brings visitors from Jackson, Nashville and Memphis.
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