Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 8, 2013

Persistent rain puts a damper on holiday weekend

(Continued)

Somerset —

With all the angst over the levels of Lake Cumberland in recent years — and excitement over it being raised back up to near the normal pool this summer — it appears nature decided to help along the cause. Harley reported U.S. Corps of Engineers information stating that the lake had been raised about seven feet since last week due to the rain.
Currently, the lake level sits at about 712 feet, he said.
John Williams, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Department fisheries biologist, said he didn’t expect the slightly larger lake to have much of an environmental impact.
“It could affect water quality later in the year and has in the past,” he said. “The rain (can) flush out the cold water and replace it with warm. You run into oxygen problems in deep water. If you get a big rain in late spring and have to release a bunch of water off the bottom and middle and not the top, you replace the cold water with warm water and it affects the stripers and walleye.”
However, “we’re in pretty good shape as far as cold water and good oxygen (for the fish).”
While the stripes and walleye are getting along swimmingly, the humans found themselves feeling a bit like fish this holiday weekend. Saturday’s SomerBlast event at the SomerSplash water park — an all-day Independence Day celebration with games, live music, and of course fireworks — found itself right in the middle of an all-day weather event. What should have been a banner weekend for tourism unfortunately didn’t quite match expectations.
“It was wet,” said Carolyn Mounce, executive director of the Somerset-Pulaski County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“I did some spot-checking (Monday),” she said. “Some of the lodging facilities we’d called earlier in the week were very optimistic (about the holiday). Then each one I’d (check back) with had some cancellations.

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