News 12 Then: Building TVA’s lake with a drain plug on Raccoon Mountain
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – This week, TVA posted a 3D mapping video of what’s under the lake on Raccoon Mountain.
They mapped it when they drained the lake last year, so engineers had something to work with when the water is up.
In case you’ve never visited the Raccoon Mountain Pumped Storage Facility, it is a unique engineering project.
Basically, they store water in the man-made lake on top of the mountain.
When they need power, they dump that water through giant turbines to generate electricity.
When they have excess electricity, they pump water back up the mountain until they need it again.
These days, most of us know it for the bike and hiking trails around the lake.
But 40 years ago, that green mountain was a mass of mud and stone.
This week our story from the archives, takes us back to the construction of the Raccoon Mountain project.
WDEF anchor Ray White prepared this story for CBS around 1977.
He shows us what’s at the bottom of the lake, inside the mountain, and the access to the Tennessee River below.