White River floods occurred regularly throughout Southwest Missouri and Northwest Arkansas affecting many outlining towns including the city of Branson. As the population of the region grew, a solution to flooding had to be considered. Congress initially authorized the construction of a dam with the Flood Control Act of 1941, but construction was delayed by World War II, the Korean War, and the building of Bull Shoals Dam.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers moved into the region in October 1954 to construct a series of dams along the White River. The Table Rock Dam, located 8 miles southwest of Branson, is a combination of concrete and earthen embankment. The concrete section of the dam is 1,602 feet long, and the earthen embankment is 4,821 feet long. The dam spans a total of 6,423 feet. The Army Corps completed the dam in August of 1958. The lake that developed behind Table Rock Dam covers more than 43,000 acres. Besides flood control, the lake provides the surrounding area with tourism-related business resulting in large tourism revenue. The water flowing from below the dam services the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery and provides for the tailwater trout fishery in upper Lake Taneycomo. The dam also provides hydroelectric power to the national grid.
Subject: Table Rock Lake; Dams
Contributing Institution: Springfield News-Leader
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