Those working with and visiting Mammoth Cave National Park are hoping for more rain soon so that Green River's water level will rise. Due to the recent lack of rain, the river's levels have dropped significantly forcing the Green River Ferry to close for an indefinite period of time.
"The Green River cuts the park just about in two," and when "the boat crosses, it is actually scraping the bottom of the river," said Jim Carrol, with Mammoth Cave National Park.
The decision was made to close the ferry due to concerns of operating with the risk of mechanical damage to the ferry or vehicles traveling on it. "It's very inconvenient for a lot of people, not just park visitors," Carroll stated. "Our local residents that live across the river use that as a commute as well."
"Usually the edge of the river measures about two and a half to three feet on the gauge. Now with the lack of rain, it doesn't even register."
"It's pretty significant because half of the park on the north side is not accessible unless you drive through Brownsville or Munfordville in that direction," Carroll said. The Houchins Ferry remains open, so that people can cross the Green River. It's hours have even been extended from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.. Those needing to access Mammoth Cave are still wishing for more rain on the other hand.
Carroll says the park is working on a project to rework the Green River Ferry crossing to where it can operate in lower water levels. However, it will take a few years to complete and funding still needs to be obtained.
As soon as the water level rises sufficiently the Green River Ferry will reopen. For more information you can call (270) 758-2166.