Fort Peck Dam and Lake

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Valley County,Nashua 59248,Northeast Montana,Valley County

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A product of FDR’s New Deal, construction on Fort Peck Dam began in October of 1933. It was constructed by hydraulic methods and to this day is the largest hydraulically earth-filled dam in the world. Electrically operated dredge boats dredged Missouri River bottom sands, silts, and clays which were then pumped through 28” pipelines to the dam site. The dredged area is covered by the Fort Peck Lake today.

At its construction peak, nearly 11,000 people were employed. At one time during the construction years, the population of the area exceeded 50,000 in 18 construction boom towns surround- ing the lake. Life magazine featured one of these towns in the November 1936 issue. Today the population of Fort Peck Lake is but a mere 235.

To allow construction of the dam, the waters of the Missouri River were diverted through four flood control tunnels. The lake created by the dam is 130 miles long, 16 miles wide at its widest, and 220 feet deep at its deepest.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers build Fort Peck Dam initially for flood control, irrigation, navigation, and domestic water supply. Hydroelectric power generation and recreation were later authorized for use. Two

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