Kentucky’s junior senator enjoyed his recent visit to Lake Cumberland
By BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus Commonwealth Journal
The rising level of Lake Cumberland and publicity about Wolf Creek Dam being safe are having an equally positive effect this summer as was the negative impact six years ago when the dam was in high risk of failure and the lake was lowered 40 feet.
Senator Rand Paul, Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator from Bowling Green, and his family are the latest of the “rich and famous” to spend time on the expanding waters Lake Cumberland.
In an e-mail to local media outlets, Paul, a possible presidential candidate, said: “On Father’s Day weekend, my family and I joined two other families for a houseboat trip on Lake Cumberland. It was a great weekend of cooking out, tubing and skiing ... we broke our group record when we got seven kids on skis at once.
“I love the friendliness of the Lake Cumberland community and wanted to recognize your great hospitality. A lot of folks come to the Commonwealth to visit and take advantage of what we have to offer.
“Experiences like this are just one more reason I’m proud to be a Kentuckian,” Paul said.
Paul will be in Somerset next week. He and Kentucky State Senate President Robert Stivers are the scheduled guest speakers Tuesday during the June membership meeting of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. The chamber meets at noon at The Center for Rural Development.
Earlier this month, Bob Stewart, newly named secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, gave Lake Cumberland a thumb’s up on the second day of his new job.
“We love Lake Cumberland ... it is one of our most valuable tourism resources,” said Stewart. “I’ve been coming to Lake Cumberland since the early 1980s,” “I’m a boater. I love to bring my runabout down there and rip up and down the lake ... we have a wonderful time.”
Such a hearty endorsement of the lake from the man who heads Kentucky’s tourism promotional team is considered extremely important by boosters of Lake Cumberland.
The $594 million rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam is nearly complete and the water level was allowed to rise 20 feet for this summer’s vacation season.
Completion of the repair project is scheduled this December at which time the lake will rise another 20 feet to normal operational levels. Pool stage is 723 feet above sea level and the lake stretches 101 miles from west of Jamestown through Pulaski County to near Corbin. Mountainous terrain and numerous coves create more than 1,200 miles of shoreline and the water averages 90 feet deep.