Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 23, 2013

Lake economy hopes to buoy

Lee’s Ford Marina owner says lowered Lake Cumberland has resulted in ‘economic disaster’ for boating industry


Somerset —

The Corps gave marinas on Lake Cumberland one year’s free rent after the lake was lowered. Hamilton says he pays about $200,000 a year in rent to the Corps.
“I hope they (Corps) will help us recover economically,” Hamilton remarked. His losses during the past six years approach $6 million, he said.
Already in place is a state-coordinated Lake Cumberland Economic Security Plan that would guide the area back to economic prosperity. Hamilton says implementation of this plan, with assistance and cooperation from the Corps, would hasten recovery and put people back to work.
Hamilton doesn’t disagree with the need to repair Wolf Creek Dam.
“They had to fix the dam ... and I think they have fixed it right,” he said. “I commend them for that.”
Wolf Creek Dam has been plagued with uncontrolled seepage since the lake filled up during 1951. An outside panel of experts in 2005 declared the dam in “high risk” of failure and a major rehabilitation of the mile-long structure was necessary.
The “permanent fix,” as the Corps calls it, was installation of a concrete barrier wall, a minimum of 2 feet thick, extending 275 feet from near the top of the dam to about 100 feet into bedrock beneath the dam. The part of the wall beneath the dam extends through porous limestone rock at the base of the dam to a more solid stratum of limestone.
The new permanent barrier wall is being inserted 40 feet upstream from a similar wall installed during the 1970s after the dam almost failed during the late 1960s. The first wall was not long enough or deep enough and seepage continued, eventually becoming uncontrolled.

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