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The resilient story of "the town that wouldn't drown"

“The Town That Wouldn’t Drown” refers to the resilient community of Bulter, Tennessee.

Located near the Watauga River, for years this town had only known constant flooding, but after a major flood in 1940 that resulted in 6 casualties, something had to change.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) started work on the Watauga Dam in 1942; the project was paused during World War II but was later finished in 1948.

Leading up to the project, plans were made to relocate the buildings and homes of the community.

The town was moved to higher ground, demonstrating a remarkable determination to preserve their Appalachian home.


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