12:01am

Mon June 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Repairs Resume on Lake Cumberland Dam

The US Army Corps of Engineers has resumed rehabilitation work on part of Wolf Creek Dam in southern Kentucky.  Officials began repairs in 2006 after determining the dam could fail, which would cause major flooding in several downstream cities, including Nashville. The dam’s condition also forced engineers to lower water levels on Lake Cumberland. Project manager David Hendrix says completion of the repairs is more than two years away.

“We’re still looking at probably the December, 2013 time frame, which is what we have been reporting for some time now,” said Hendrix.

Wolf Creek Dam is in the midst of a half-billion dollar repair project.

Work was halted last year after monitors reported increased pressure near an earthen embankment wraps around a section of the dam.  Hendrix says new data indicates there was no instability. Engineers are again drilling in preparation for a new barrier wall.   

Given the dam’s condition, Hendrix says officials have tried to keep the Lake Cumberland water level at about 680 feet above sea level.   

“We have not been able to do that here over the past two months with all the heavy spring rains and the flooding going on on the lower Ohio and Mississippi. we were trying to store water in our project so we actually got above 720, but now we’re back withdrawing,” said Hendrix.