Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Purpose of the Dam

Marker ID:  
Location: near the Power Plant Park off of US 221, Clarks Hill Hwy, Clarks Hill, SC.
County: McCormick
Coordinates: N 33° 39.6    W 082° 11.783
  33.66    -82.19638333


The devastating flood of 1888 was one of several along the Savannah River in the 1800s. Altogether, they prompted the decision to build the Clarks Hill Dam and Lake, renamed the J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake in 1987. Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1944, and constructed between 1946 and 1954, this multipurpose project today controls flooding, improves navigation on the Savannah River, generates hydropower, provides recreation, and fish and wildlife management opportunities.

1. In 1888, the 900 block of Broad Street flooded, which damaged much of downtown Augusta and dramatically impacted citizens.

2. Downtown Augusta, with its riverside commercial and recreational development, such as the Riverwalk, has benefited from the dam´s flood control.

3. Thurmond Dam is one of 75 hydroelectric dams owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps produces about a quarter of the nation´s hydroelectric power.

4. Thurmond Lake offers a variety of outdoor recreation activities in both Georgia and South Carolina.

5. Since the dam was completed, the lake and its surroundings have attracted a diversity of animal life.

Erected by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.