SAM RAYBURN RESERVOIR
SAM RAYBURN RESERVOIR. Sam Rayburn Reservoir, formerly known as McGee Bend Reservoir, is dammed eighty miles north of Beaumont (at 31°04' N, 94°06' W). It is fed by the Angelina River and lies in Jasper, Angelina, Sabine, Nacogdoches, and San Augustine counties. Construction at the McGee Bend site began on September 7, 1956, and deliberate impoundment of water began on March 29, 1965. Paul Hardeman, Incorporated, of Stanton, California, served as general contractor for the project, which cost $63,290,000. The project was renamed in honor of Samuel T. (Sam) Rayburn in 1963. The reservoir is designed for flood control and power generation, owned by the United States government, and operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth district. The earthfill dam has a spillway crest elevation of 176 feet and a top flood-control pool capacity of 3,997,600 acre-feet. Its two hydroelectric plants generate a total capacity of 52,000 kilowatt-hours marketed by the Southwestern Power Administration. With a drainage area of 3,449 square miles, Rayburn Reservoir conserves water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational purposes.