(CINCINNATI) -- The water level is still dropping at Lake Cumberland in Southeastern Kentucky. On Friday afternoon the pool level stood at 686 and 1/2 feet as the Corps of Engineers lowers the level to around 680 feet so work can continue on the Wolf Creek Dam.
The Corps hopes to finish the draw down on February 12th. They have already begun adding a slurry of concrete to areas below the dam to attempt to stop the leaks which could damage the stability of the dam if they are not fixed.
Lake Cumberland is still open and the dam is not in immanent danger of breaking.
The lake level will be about 10 feet below the normal winter level of the water. This has caused some concern with houseboat owners as they scurry to move their boats to deeper water. Several boat ramps also end before they hit water at the lake as well.
Kentucky officials have promised to find money to extend some of the boat ramps. They have begun an extensive media campaign to let people know that Lake Cumberland is still open for boating, fishing, and other activities.
The lower lake levels will be kept thru the fall when the Corp of Engineers will re-evaluate the dam repairs. Some estimate that it will take seven years before they raise the levels up the normal pool elevation.
Lake Cumberland was created in 1950 when the Corps of Engineers dammed the Cumberland River as a flood control and hydroelectric project. The lake is over 100 miles long. The Wolf Creek Dam is the 22nd largest in the United States. The concrete and earthen dam is over a mile long and 258 feet high at its tallest point. The cost of the project was 81 Million dollars. Lake Cumberland is known as the "Houseboat Capitol of the World."
The lake has been lower on several different occasions. In 1954 after a severe drought the water level stood at 665 feet. And it was at 677 feet in 1981 when the Corps of Engineers was working on a leak at the dam.