Work on Douglas Dam began in February 1942 and was completed on a crash schedule in just 12 months and 17 days—a world record for projects of equivalent size. It is a hydroelectric facility. It has four generating units with a net dependable capacity of 111 megawatts.
Douglas Dam is on the French Broad River in East Tennessee. The reservoir extends 43 miles upriver from the dam through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Set against the backdrop of the Smoky Mountain foothills, Douglas Reservoir is a popular recreation destination, known for picnicking, camping, boating and fishing.
Douglas and other TVA dams built during World War II made a historic contribution by providing hydropower to drive the war effort. The reservoir remains an integral unit in the overall water control system in the Tennessee Valley.
Birdwatchers enjoy the fall migration of shore birds, wading birds and other waterfowl that flock to Douglas from late July to early October. The birds rest and feed on the muddy shoreline and in areas of shallow water exposed as the level of the reservoir is lowered to winter flood control levels.
Douglas: Facts + Figures
- Douglas Dam is a hydroelectric facility. It has four generating units with a net dependable capacity of 111 megawatts. Net dependable capacity is the amount of power a dam can produce on an average day, minus the electricity used by the dam itself.
- Douglas Dam is 201 feet high and stretches 1,705 feet across the French Broad River.
- Douglas Reservoir provides 513 miles of shoreline and about 28,420 acres of water surface for recreation activities.
- In a year with normal rainfall, the water level in Douglas Reservoir varies about 44 feet from summer to winter to provide seasonal flood storage.
- The reservoir has a flood-storage capacity of 1,082,000 acre-feet.
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