Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 24, 2013

Burnside Marina preps for boaters

Dock expansion underway

(Continued)

Burnside —

“No,” assured Polston. “When they called us last Thursday, it was definite. The lake will start to rise in April and be 20 feet higher by June. That’s what they told us Thursday. It was definite.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the Wolf Creek Dam Remediation Project is ahead of schedule and the Corps is now making plans to raise the water level this summer.
Don Getty, project manager, told the Commonwealth Journal current projections are to have the lake between 700 and 705 feet above sea level for the upcoming vacation season. This is about halfway to the historical 723 feet, or tree line, he noted.
Then he added customary caveats.
“It’s not an absolute,” said Getty. “There is still a risk ... but a high probability that we can raise the lake about 20 feet this summer.” He said there are a “lot more risks” in the level between 705 and 723 that the first 20 feet.
“Our goal is to have the lake at the historical 723 feet above sea level by summer 2014,” Getty said. “There are still a lot of concerns ... a lot of unknowns,” he inserted.
Burnside Marina is both confident and excited. 
“Previous statements to us from the Corps added cautions, but the call last Thursday was a definite ... the lake is going up,” Polston assured. Pointing to murky water around the marina, she said the lake is around 690 (feet above sea level) now, because of heavy rains in the Cumberland River Basin.
Getty had caution in his voice when he discussed the lake rise with the Commonwealth Journal.
Achieving this level is dependent on completing the barrier wall and obtaining safety approval. Sufficient rainfall after approval of the barrier wall will also be part of the equation of raising the lake for the 2013 summer recreation season, he added.
Lake Cumberland has been held as nearly as a possible to 680 feet, or about 40 feet below normal, since January 2007. The lower level relieved pressure on the mile-long structure during the remediation work made necessary because the dam was in “high risk” of failure.

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