These are pictures of Summersville Lake shown at winter pool and pictures showing the water flowing from the discharge of the dam itself.

The water level in the lake is dropped 60-70 feet for winter pool.

In 1960 the Summersville Dam project was begun. The dam was built and the lake formed for flood control and in 1964 the project was completed. The US Army Corps Of Engineers typically named dams after the closest town in those days. Unfortunately, the closest town was Gad, WV and the Corps, in their infinate wisdom decided to name the dam after the next closest town. They figured Gad Dam was not a really good name for the dam. :)

Click on any of the pictures below to see a larger image.

The Summersville Lake Dam is an earthen/rock dam that rises 390 feet above the Gauley River. There is a small hydroelectric plant and the water discharges from the lake through three discharge tubes in the powerplant. Average discharge is around 10,000 cubic feet of water per second with maximum flow at 18,000 cubic feet of water per second. Note: a cubic foot of fresh water weighs 62.4 pounds so at a discharge of 10,000 cubic feet per second you're looking at 624,000 pounds (or around 78,000 gallons) of water per second being discharged.

I've uploaded three short movies of the discharge at the dam. They are 344K each. Please save these movies to your hard drive by right clicking on the link and choosing "Save Target As" with Internet Explorer or "Save Link As" if you're using Netscape.

Movie 1                 Movie 2                 Movie 3