Commonwealth Journal

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May 2, 2013

Corps no longer has fingers crossed about dam


Somerset —

Lake Cumberland in January 2007 was lowered 40 feet below its normal operational level to ease pressure on the structure and facilitate repairs.
A contract was let in July 2008 to build a concrete barrier wall at least two feet in width and extending 275 feet from a work platform on the upstream side of the dam to about 100 feet into the limestone base. 
The level of Lake Cumberland on January 23 was OK’d to rise 20 feet, beginning the first of April. The water has reached that level, even above, earlier than expected.
Getty said in case of heavy rains, the lake level will be drawn down as downstream conditions permit to maintain the 705-level target. He pointed out the importance of flood-control efforts on both the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers.
The major rehabilitation of Wolf Creek Dam is considered a new dam effect. Corps policy is to allow the lake to return to its normal level in increments, not all at once.
This coming December, and for Summer 2014, the lake will return to its historical operational level at 723 feet, or tree line.

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