BENTON COUNTY (KFSM) -- Beaver Lake turns 50 years old Thursday (Sept. 6) and the Army Corps of Engineers is throwing a bash to celebrate.
During that time, the lake has become a vital water facility and an increasingly popular spot for recreation.
When the dam on the lake was finished in 1966, its original functions included flood control for the White River and hydroelectric power production, but since then the lake has also become a water supply for the Northwest Arkansas area.
Operations Project Manager Sean Harper said the dam was first put to the test in 2008 and since then has been vital in curbing major flooding in 2011 and 2015.
"All three of those years, the dam very effectively proved that it could basically cut the top off the flood event, in other words, there was more water coming into Beaver Lake than was being released," he explained. "So if the dam hadn't been there, it would have been a much bigger flood downstream than what occurred and that's evidence the dam is doing exactly what the designers planned for it."
Thursday's celebration will be held at 2 p.m. at the park on the north side of dam. Colonel Robert Dixon from Little Rock will be the keynote speaker and other special guests will include U.S. Senator John Boozman and U.S. Rep. Steve Womack.
After the ceremony visitors can check out the overlook and take a tour of the dam power house.