March 22 Newsletter on Lake Cumberland/Wolf Creek Dam
Friends of Lake Cumberland –
Weekly progress report (3/20/07) from the Army Corps of Engineers:
Below is a general list of speaking points that are periodically updated and given to folks who either have questions about Lake Cumberland or who may be asked questions about the project. They are a good synopsis of what is happening to date.
LAKE CUMBERLAND/WOLF CREEK DAM
When it was learned that the Army Corps of Engineers was going to drastically lower the level of Lake Cumberland, Governor Fletcher recognized a mandate to act promptly and decisively.
He mobilized our cabinet – along with others throughout the administration – and collectively gave us a simple marching order: Do everything possible to help people in the Lake Cumberland area adapt to this emergency.
Our No. 1 priority is to protect health and safety.
The Corps of Engineers says the dam is in no danger of imminent failure, but the prudent approach is to plan and prepare for a worst-case scenario.
These are some of the steps Governor Fletcher has taken:
- He directed the Office of Homeland Security to install a reverse-911 system, upgrade the region’s 911 system from basic to enhanced, and distribute weather radios for households and businesses near the dam. That distribution is scheduled to begin on March 24th.
- He has directed the Division of Emergency Management to complete emergency planning for potentially affected areas, including identifying every road that would be affected by a breach.
- The boat ramp at General Burnside Island State Park – a ramp critical to the region’s renowned and irreplaceable houseboat manufacturing industry – has been extended with gravel while preparations are made for a permanent concrete extension.
- And he has opened an office in Somerset and appointed a liaison – Hilda Legg – to gather information, dispense information, and to generally be responsive to people in the Lake Cumberland area.
The lake is being lowered to 680 feet above sea level. This is very close to the level at which public water intakes and discharges would be out of the water.
Our Division of Water has been lending technical assistance to the municipal water systems, all of which are actively planning to move or extend their intakes.
Plans by the city of Somerset and the city of Monticello to modify and extend their water intakes have already been approved by the Division of Water.
The Administration now is working on helping the local water systems pay for the work.
The Governor’s Office for Local Development has put $10.3 million on reserve for that purpose last week (March 16).
The Division of Water also is offering technical assistance to private well owners.
The Public Service Commission is working with power plant engineers to assess the need to extend water intakes.
It also is consulting with the TVA about how to handle any power loss to the region.
Our Division of Water and our Office of Insurance have been involved in public meetings to educate area residents and elected officials about participation in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Governor has asked the General Assembly for $45 million in bonding authority to assist local communities cope with the effects of the lake drawdown.
The drawdown has affected boating access to Lake Cumberland.
The ramp at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park – like the ramp at General Burnside Island – is scheduled for a permanent concrete extension in time for summer boating.
The Transportation Cabinet plans to open cost bids for those projects on Friday (March 23.)
The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, the Department of Parks, and the Transportation Cabinet are working together to evaluate other impacted boat ramps as well.
While the lower lake level will cause some inconvenience, Lake Cumberland remains an outstanding tourism resource. Even at 680 feet, there is plenty of water in this large, deep lake to entice boaters and anglers.
To minimize the tourism impact of the dam project, the Department of Tourism has launched a major ad campaign promoting Lake Cumberland in major out of state markets.
The Fletcher Administration will stay with this situation to its conclusion.
The KY Department of Fish and Wildlife have a story in their KY Afield magazine regarding Lake Cumberland. It can be found at:
“Kentucky Afield” TV Probes Cumberland Concerns this Weekend
Frankfort, Ky. – “Kentucky Afield” television talks with experts and locals about the issues and impacts of lowering Lake Cumberland while dam repairs are underway during this weekend’s show, March 24 and 25, on KET.
STATE APPROVES EMERGENCY MODIFICATIONS FOR MONTICELLO WATER PLANT
Quick response to Corps of Engineers’ lowering of Lake Cumberland
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 22, 2007) – In a quick response to a water emergency created by the lowering of Lake Cumberland, the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW) has approved plans submitted by the Monticello Water and Sewer Commission for water intake modifications.
The municipal system supplies water to about 25,600 people in the Monticello area. In late January the Army Corps of Engineers lowered the lake to 680 feet above sea level – 43 feet below normal and perilously close to the lowest water intake levels for Monticello and six other water systems that collectively supply 203,000 people in nine counties – Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, Lincoln, McCreary, Monroe, Pulaski, Russell and Wayne.
The plant modification will enable Monticello to continue to draw raw water if the Corps of Engineers decides to lower the lake even further during repairs to its impoundment, Wolf Creek Dam. The Corps has advised local water systems that a lowering to 650 feet is a “real possibility.”
Monticello’s plans were submitted to DOW for review on March 5 and were approved March 14.
In addition to the 21,000 residents of Monticello in Wayne County, the city of Monticello sells water to the 4,600 residents of the city of Bronston in Pulaski County.
The plant modification involves an 80-foot extension of intake pipes to a floating barge-platform. Plant systems manager Leroy Mikel said the intakes “should be good down to 650 feet.”
Mikel added that a private engineering firm is preparing a plan that would allow Monticello to provide municipal water services to the 34 residents in the Rocky Ridge Road area of Wayne County who depend on wells for drinking water. Some of the domestic wells in the area went dry when the lake level dropped.
Governor Ernie Fletcher said the Governor’s Office for Local Development and Kentucky Infrastructure Authority are working on funding to assist Monticello.
“Our administration is exploring all available avenues of funding for helping the water systems in the Lake Cumberland area pay for plant modifications,” said Governor Fletcher. “I commend the city of Monticello and the Division of Water for moving quickly to meet this emergency.”
DOW Director David Morgan also commended Monticello for its proactive approach to the issues facing the water plant as a result of the Corps of Engineers’ Wolf Creek Dam project.
“Thousands of residents in the Monticello area depend on the drinking water provided by the Monticello Water and Sewer Commission,” said Morgan. “The Division of Water will continue to provide technical assistance to the water treatment plant as the modifications are made.”
The Corps of Engineers anticipates the project to repair the leaking dam could take up to seven years. Governor Fletcher has directed his administration to do everything possible to help communities in the Lake Cumberland area with issues related to the drawdown. The Division of Water is lending technical assistance to all the area municipal water systems.
RAMP CONDITIONS ACCORDING TO THE CORPS:
The following Corps operated and Commercial Marina boat ramps are usable at or near the target elevation 680” (* Due to recent heavy rainfall, lake elevations have been higher than the targeted 680 elevation and many ramps not shown on this list may be currently usable. However, lake levels are on the fall and these ramps are expected to change to the status of unusable again. Ramps are monitored on a daily basis and conditions are subject to change.) Lake predictions for March 9, 2007 are in the range of 685 elevation and by March 21, 2007 the 680 elevation range.
General Burnside Island State Park
Cave Creek (approx. 15' of concrete left, then mud)
Conley Bottom Marina (campground ramp, boats less 20'approx.)
Halcomb's Landing (small boats less 20'approx.)
Lee's Ford Marina
Waitsboro (small boats less 20'approx.)
Ramps projected to be open by the start of the summer recreation season.
The list below is subject to change and is not final. It is for planning purposes.
Ramps expected to be open are:
Grider Hill Marina Conley Bottom Resort
Halcomb’s Landing Fall Creek Recreation Area
Beaver Creek Resort Lee’s Ford Marina
Lake Cumberland State Resort Park Slate Branch
Jamestown Marina Waitsboro Recreation Area
Lilly Creek General Burnside Island State Park
Ono at Caney Creek embayment Cave Creek
Alligator II Omega/Buck Creek Marina
Cumberland Point Recreation Area
If you have any questions, please e-mail them to me at: email@example.com.
Past newsletters are available at www.commerce.ky.gov. Click on the “News” icon on the left side of the page to view them.
WEB SITES OF INTEREST
Jamestown Resort Marina, from the motel island looking ESE out to the main lake.
LIVE WEBCAM ON LAKE CUMBERLAND
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS PUBLIC TOWN HALL MEETINGS
22 March,-Celina, TN.,
Clay County High School, gym,
1102 Clay County Highway, 6:30-8 p.m.,
maps available at 4:30(NOTE: Gym holds 800 people unless we provide additional chairs on the gym floor)
27 March,-Gainesboro, TN.,
Jackson County High School High School Gym,
190 Blue Devil Lane, 6:30-8p.m.,
maps available at 3 p.m.
2 April,-Carthage, TN., Smith County High School, Auditorium,
312 Fite Avenue, 6:30-8p.m.,
maps available at 3:30 p.m.
12-April, - Hartsville, TN., Trousdale County High School, gym,
off HWY 25 on McMurray Blvd, 6:30-8p.m.,
maps available at 3:30 p.m.
19-April, - Mt. Juliet, TN., Mt. Juliet High School, gym,
3565 N. Mount Juliet Road, 6:30-8p.m.,
maps available at 4 p.m.
Weather Radio Distribution Schedule
March 24 March 28
Cumberland County Clinton County
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Community Center Clinton Senior Center
213 Upper River Street 110 Spring Street
Burkesville, KY Albany, KY
March 27 March 29
Russell County Monroe County
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency Old Monroe Co. H. S. Gym
23 Industry Drive 401 W 4th Street
Jamestown, KY Tompkinsville, KY
Call the Lake Cumberland Community Action Agency at 1-800-928-6382 for questions.
Warning radios to be given out in area of dam
Residents Near Wolf Creek Dam Getting Weather Radios
http://www.links2travel.com/blog/?p=381 - Lake Cumberland - Plenty of Water!
((A blog posting touting Lake Cumberland))