Governor Helps Community Affected By Wolf Creek Dam

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

A water shortage should no longer be an issue for the Lake Cumberland region.

Russell County breaks ground on a $3.3-million water intake system.

The project allows plenty of clean water to continue to flow from Lake Cumberland, while the Corps of Engineers fixes the Wolf Creek Dam which many fear could soon break.

Six-months ago, the people in the Lake Cumberland region didn't know where their water would come from.

"When the Corps of Engineers announced they were lowering the lake to 680 ft., this had a tremendous impact on this region since there was a litany of issues that had to be faced," explained Jamestown Mayor, Brooks Bates.

By cutting down the 55,000 acres of water to 37,000, tourism took a dive--a 40 percent dive

"The people that depended on the lake for the recreation--the supplementary business like boats, gas and restaurants," Bates added.

And there was another huge problem lowering the water presented.

"People did worry about their water situation. There was a scare below Wolf Creek Dam about if the dam that bad and if the dam broke, what would happen," Russell Co. Judge-Executive Mickey Garner said.

Although Russell County didn't suffer a water shortage, surrounding counties did have issues with water use.

So Russell County officials and state employees came up with a solution.

"Moving the intake farther out into the lake in case the Corps of Engineers do have to lower the lake again in the future," said Hilda Legg, with the Governor's Office of I.S.

The intake will float on a barge to allow water fluctuation.

It'll allow withdrawal of water 620 feet above sea level.

The project will be completed by the end of November and it reassures residents that nobody in the Lake Cumberland region will be without water for any reason.

"They don't have to worry. Once we get this in place we'll have plenty of water--plenty of drinking water and plenty of water for sports or whatever," Garner assured.

The project also provides Russell County with weather radios, enhanced 911 and reverse 911 capabilities.

To view a press release issued for the governor's office on the issue, click here.

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