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TVA tour gives history lesson, insight, and a look at the Guntersville Dam

GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. -- For the first time in years the Tennessee Valley Authority opened the doors of the Guntersville Dam to the public, but there's more behind the tour besides the facility itself.

When you look at the Guntersville Dam, what do you think? Power, maybe. You wouldn't be wrong, but TVA says there's a whole lot more to it than that.

"Our primary goals are flood control, recreation, and power generation," explained TVA Southwest Hyrdro Senior Manager Kevin York, "We're happy to have members of the public in today for what we're calling the Built for the People Tour across TVA."

"It just gives us an opportunity to teach them about the TVA history as well as an opportunity to see our facility."

The tour covered the facility, which TVA says is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and also covered what TVA does in the area it serves - from its history to present day. "Power is secondary to what we provide to the community," York explained, "What we prevent in flood damage every year across the Valley is just huge for this area and across the TVA system."

Lake Guntersville stretches to Jackson County, and it's a major economic driver. Tour guides explained how TVA provided jobs during its inauguration.

"I'm a school teacher in Scottsboro, and so this is an area we cover through science and through social studies," Lisa Williams said, "This is helpful information, and I would really like to be able to bring my children here to be able to see it first hand."

That's part of what TVA is looking for with the tours: bringing that history and involvement to a new generation.

TVA is doing tours at select dams across the Tennessee Valley.