Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 20, 2013

Wolf Creek repairs now part of history

Russell County, KY —

The contrast is remarkable.
 
August 15, 2005
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced during a somber gathering at The Center for Rural Development that Wolf Creek Dam is leaking uncontrollably and is in high risk of failure. They said a complete rehabilitation of the mile-long structure that impounds Lake Cumberland is necessary.
 
April 19, 2013
That is yesterday. The job is done. The mood has dramatically swung upward.
“Hallelujah! Tell the world to come on in! The water’s fine!” That’s the way Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, put it during an applause-interrupted, celebratory Wolf Creek Dam Completion Ceremony in the Russell County Schools auditorium/natatorium.
“This is a great day!” Rogers exclaimed. “We can announce with certainty that Wolf Creek Dam is safe; that all the people below the dam are safe.” Rogers is chair of the powerful House Appropriations Committee through which came funds for the $594 million repair project.
“This is a start of a new chapter in the history of Wolf Creek Dam,” commented Brigadier General Margaret Burcham, commander, Great Lakes and Ohio River Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She said the rehabilitation project “ ... restores our confidence in the integrity of the dam.”
“It is considered a model project ... the largest project of its kind in the world,” said Burcham.” Nothing has so much potential to provide so much protection for so many people.”
Marchetta Sparrow, secretary, Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, said “More Lake, More Fun” is the theme the cabinet will use to draw the Ohio Navy back to its favorite waterway.
“What they have done here is vital to the economy of the commonwealth,” said Sparrow. “Tourism puts food on the table for a lot of families.”
Rogers called the lake an economic engine for growth in the Lake Cumberland area. “It means so much to the economy of the region,” he said.

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