Little Tennessee, river, c.135 mi (220 km) long, rising in the Blue Ridge, NE Ga., and flowing generally NW across SW N.C. and through E Tenn. to the Tennessee River opposite Lenoir City. On the river in North Carolina near the Tennessee line is Fontana Dam (480 ft/146 m high; 2,365 ft/721 m long; completed 1945), impounding Fontana Lake. It is part of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and is the highest dam E of the Rocky Mts. The dam provides flood control, river regulation, and hydroelectricity. Cheoah Dam in North Carolina, and Calderwood and Chilhowee dams in Tennessee are also part of the TVA.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.