Feb. 2 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
We expect to get final/official word early next week from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Corps securing about $2 million in federal money for things like:
Extending ten ramps
Extending parking at marinas
Cultural and Natural Resources Protection
Other Recreation Area renovations.
You may recall, the Corps said they would be willing to do these things, but presently did not have the funds to take these actions. We will get a final/official answer early next week.
Copy of another positive e-mail we received:
Dear Mr. Gilligan,
As a family that rents a houseboat each summer at Lake Cumberland, and a family that was initially shocked to hear about the lake being lowered and immediately considered canceling our reservation this year, I've read with interest the various publicity issued by the State and other entities. For what it's worth, the more we've thought about it, the more fun it sounds to explore the "new" lake. Who knows what will surface along the new shore line. The State, Chamber of Commerce for the area or whoever should market the new possibilities, like seeing parts of Burnside, shoreline scavenger hunts, etc.
A letter of support from Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash is included at the end of this newsletter. It was written for and geared to, as well as sent to tourism professionals around the state.
Here is an interesting website that was sent to me:
Their motto/ad campaign:
“Got Water? Don’t worry, there’s no dam problem.”
They say it’s been sent to more then 54,000 people.
A link to the Army Corps of Engineers Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam web page. http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/pao/issues/WOLcommo/
If you want to monitor the level here is the website: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/hh/resplots/wol_a.html
The chart at the bottom of the page shows you the reading. Remember that once the lake level hits 687’ it will start going down a foot a day. With the lake level at 686.31 at noon on 2/2/07 – a rapid decrease in the water level should start very soon. Once the level hits 682’ the decrease will be about 4” – 6” a day until it gets to 680”.
If you have any questions, please e-mail them back to me at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and get you an answer.
If interested in learning about the KY Tourism Development Loan Program – contact Todd at 502-564-8067 or email@example.com.
Past newsletters are available at www.commerce.ky.gov. Click on the “News” icon on the left side or scroll down to the bottom of the page to view the.
ITEMS OF INTEREST
On the Net: Corps Nashville District: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/
Corps of Engineers Public Meeting Schedule2231 26th Ave. N., Nashville. _ Monday, Feb. 12, 6:30 p to 8:00 pm, Hendersonville First Baptist Church
_ Tuesday, Feb. 6, 6:30 p.m., Metro North Police Precinct,
(PLEASE NOTE CHANGE IN LOCATION FOR MEETING ABOVE)
_ Thursday, Feb. 15, 6:30 p.m., Gallatin City Hall, 132 W. Main St., Gallatin. ___
RECENT NEWS ARTICLES
Letter from Tourism commissioner Randy Fiveash:
Dear Tourism Industry Friends,
All of us in the Kentucky travel industry are facing a challenge relating to one of the commonwealth’s most popular attractions. As I’m sure you’re aware, Lake Cumberland must be lowered in order to repair Wolf Creek Dam to curb seepage and reduce the potential for a breach of the earthen and concrete structure.
The lake’s dock and marina operators are up against the most immediate challenge from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plan to draw down the lake about 43 feet below the tree line in order to begin shoring up the dam. Some of the dock and marina operators will have to extend their reach into the lake to avoid being left high and dry. Meanwhile, motels, campgrounds, restaurants, gas stations, boat builders and boat repair facilities in the region all could lose some business due to a possible decline in lake-related tourism.
But I want to emphasize that Lake Cumberland is a top priority of the Fletcher administration, and specifically the Department of Tourism. We are committed to help in any way we can. Lake Cumberland is open for business. The real challenge facing all of us is to avoid panic in the face of unfortunate circumstances. As the lake’s long-time business operators can testify, there have been hard times before, and businesses managed to survive. The Lake Cumberland business operators are some of the “best of the best” at what they do and we salute them. Despite the drawdown, the lake’s surface area is enormous by anyone’s standards. Lake Cumberland still will be the third largest lake in Kentucky.
We in state government are aggressively conveying the message that the lake will continue to be usable, despite the drawdown. We are working to get the correct information out to the media. One step we are evaluating is using webcams to provide live Internet views of the lake to reassure potential visitors that there are still great recreational opportunities at Lake Cumberland. All of us in the Kentucky tourism industry need to combat any negative rumors and misinformation about the safety and desirability of a lake vacation.
Pulaski, Russell, Wayne and Clinton counties have come to depend on the over $150 million spent annually by the thousands of visitors who trek from places far and wide to enjoy this Kentucky treasure. The outstanding tourism and recreation assets of the lake are not going away, and this is the message we all need to emphasize forcefully in the months ahead. Please call us if you have any questions. One source of information is a new up-to-date newsletter that can be accessed at www.commerce.ky.gov . (Scroll to the bottom of the page for “News”.)
As always, thanks for your support
Randy Fiveash, Commissioner
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Friday, February 2, 2007
Corps to restrict access to maps
Cumberland flood area is at issue
By James Bruggers
Back-pedaling on a promise to make Cumberland River flood maps widely available, the Army Corps of Engineers has settled on a strategy of providing copies to selected libraries downriver from the leaky Wolf Creek Dam.
David Hendrix, the corps official responsible for overseeing $309 million in repairs at the dam, said the libraries will be required to sign an agreement that they won't allow the public to take photos or otherwise copy the maps.
That's the same restriction the corps imposes for people who want to view the maps at its Nashville office.
Hendrix also said the corps won't immediately be turning over to The Courier-Journal copies of 69 maps that cover areas in Kentucky that would be flooded should the dam fail. It had promised on Wednesday to release the maps.
Media requests for the maps will need to be made through a Freedom of Information Act letter, he said.
And because of concerns about terrorism, corps officials would likely release the maps to news organizations only if they agree to restrictions such as not publishing them on Web sites.
The corps also will ask media outlets to pay $9 per map to cover copying fees, Hendrix said.
The maps are about 2 feet by 3 feet and show what areas would flood under several dam-failure scenarios.
Charles Davis, a University of Missouri journalism professor and author of the book, "Access Denied: Freedom of Information in the Information Age," said it makes no sense to request a newspaper to not distribute the news.
He said that, while he understands the corps is wrestling with global terror issues, he could not understand how the flood maps could help terrorists.
"The fact that there is a dam is public knowledge," he said. "The fact that it is a leaky dam is public knowledge."
The Courier-Journal submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the maps and several other related documents yesterday.
Corps officials have changed their position on whether and how to release the maps several times since they announced an "emergency" draw-down of Lake Cumberland on Jan. 22.
The corps has calculated that a catastrophic dam failure would cause more than $3 billion in damage and could kill as many as 237 people.
While Hendrix said Wednesday that he would provide the 69 maps covering Kentucky to The Courier-Journal on Monday, he said yesterday that he had spoken out of turn. Corps lawyers and security officials decided they were uncomfortable with allowing news organizations to publish the maps on Web sites, making them available "to the whole world."
Davis said its public knowledge that there are population centers downriver from the dam.
"It doesn't take Osama (bin Laden) in a cave to figure this out."