Cumberland's Dam Problem

Kentucky grapples with low water level issues

Published online: Jan 27, 2007 News

Kentucky state leaders have scheduled a meeting with marina operators, tourism officials and others to discuss ways to deal with low water level problems at Lake Cumberland, the Lexington Herald-Ledger reported. 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said its tests show Wolf Creek Dam in Russell County, which impounds the lake, is at high risk of failing because of leaks in the earthen section of the mile-long structure.


The Corps of Engineers said it would keep the water level in the lake below the normal summer mark to ease pressure on the dam while workers begin emergency repairs to try to plug leaks, the newspaper reports.


The water level this year will be 680 feet above sea level, down from a normal mark of 723 feet. That will reduce the surface area of the lake from the usual 50,000 acres to 35,000 acres.