View Full Version : Cumberland dam failing

01-22-2007, 04:31 PM

Ran across this in the news today and thought some people here might be interested.

01-22-2007, 05:14 PM
Obviously safety of thousands of lives comes first but that is horrible for folks that use that lake. I cant imagine what would happen if that took place at one of the major recreational lakes here in Arkansas.

01-22-2007, 05:34 PM
Not to mention that Cumberland is the king of the houseboat lakes and just think of all the hundreds of 250k - 2mil houseboats all high and dry. There is gonna be some moaning and gnashing of teeth.

01-22-2007, 05:40 PM
All the flood control dams in the south are going to be going through failure questions in the near future. They're getting old. Being downstream I have a plan, if that one breaks I guess I'll unhook my boat in the driveway and go fishing. IMO need to get rid of lakefront houses anyway. Let trees and grass grow back on COE property as a buffer to prevent erosion and pollution from getting in the water. Now thats cynical I guess, but I love nature, not big a$$ houses.

01-22-2007, 07:13 PM
This is going to affected my fishing somewhat, the house boats will be OK, they are at private marinas, and therwe will still be plenty of water for them to use.BUT most of the ramps will beleft high and dry, where will the tourist rec boaters go? Either to dale hollow or laurel lake, these lakes are already crowded. With more water skiers, and more jet skiers, this is goinjg to cause a nightmare on those lakes. Will the state force private marinas to give affordable access to boaters, doubt it. Will they improve and make the existing ramps longer, doubt it, and what about the free ramps at the two lakes that will get more use? My son has been bugging me to move to lake sinclair in Ga, I dont want to leave here, but if fishing turns into a headache, good bye KY hello Ga.

Jerry Blake
01-22-2007, 07:44 PM
Man I hate to see that. I have a good friend that built a 3,000 sq ft plus house on/overlooking Cumberland. Surely if the C.O.E plans on keeping the lake lowered for a long period of time they will extend at least some of the boat ramps.

As for letting folks build houses on C.O.E. lakes, they don't on the ones around here and I'm really glad.

01-22-2007, 09:14 PM
The C.O,E. lakes are something that must be kept as they are. these lakes have no houses on them, no docks cluttering up shorelines, just peacefull places to relax and enjoy the outdoors, sure you have the pleasure craft, and asorted other water user, but when its off season, these lakes are a thing of bueaty.Years ago there were plenty of lakes that were not developed, now that number is shrinking fast, maybe the newer generation can find bueaty in landscaped shore lines, docks crowded together, and high rise condos on the shore lines, I cant. With developement comes restrictions, and property owners uniting to stop other folks from using state waters. In a way, maybe being a senior citizen has anothjer benefit, we wont be around to see all this spoiled.

01-22-2007, 09:28 PM
lake lanier (Ga) in a COE lake and there is not a spot you cant see a house or dock, they have put a stop on dock permits limiting the total number to 4000, thats alot of docks, skiers, jet skies and house boats. come summer you cant fish on the lake after 9 am so summer time fishing is limited to night fishing for me. In 3 years on the lake I have been stopped 1 time because I didnt have my registration numbers, but I was waiting the 90 days it takes to get them, I have only seen ranger boats maybe 6 times in those 3 years. its pretty much a free for all on the lake. So anyone that wants to act like an idiot evidently Lanier welcomes you with open arms. Its is a real shame

01-23-2007, 04:09 AM
Fished that lake often, last time 12/22 06. No more new houses on it, no more room. Docks, there are even 2 story docks, butting up against each other. Fish it in the summer NO WAY, even at night. Georgia powwer has several lakes that are just as bad. When my wife died last month, my son asked me if I would consider moving in with him, his wife died last january, I said son, I would rather spend the reast of my life in a nursing home than living in that mass of humanity and traffic, next choice would be in an old appliance box, under a free way bridge. Was up to one of my favorite lakes in Vilias county Wi. after a 10 year absence. Forget it.I guess its just hard for me to realize, that in the years when I used to fish those lakes, the population of this country has almost doubled. The oddity of owning a boat is now so common place, that a lot of familys have three or four water craft. This is progress I guess, glad I can still remember, the good old days

01-24-2007, 12:02 AM
hey kygorsky: just curios. what lake in vilas? I spent some time up there last 35 years. it sure has changed! There was a time way back when i saw just 10 boaters on the 4th of july. now there are that many jet-skis in front of the cottage sometimes--flambeau chain. glenn

01-24-2007, 04:05 AM
Lake viewdessert,excuse the spelling, that was the one I was talking about, but big st germain has changed into a summer mecca for water nuts also. You cant even get away from the idiots in the winter, snow mobiles are just as big a nusance as jet ski's

01-24-2007, 05:14 AM
Yep I'm running the Cumberland river this trip & the office sent us a notice that flow rates were gonna increase for the next few days while they draw the lake down! :(

01-24-2007, 09:43 AM
What boat you on Wiskers?

01-24-2007, 12:03 PM
Hey Whiskers, I am glad to see you post. I have been thinking about you since the Tow sank last weekend. I am glad to see you weren't involved. Did you know any of the guys on that boat?

Loatz Lake Loafer
01-24-2007, 05:21 PM
"Fearing a dam break that could cause catastrophic flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee, the Army Corps of Engineers began lowering the water level in Lake Cumberland Monday.

The measure was aimed at reducing pressure on the weakened 240-foot-high dam, said Lt. Col. Steven J. Roemhildt, commander of the corps' Nashville office.

"We must take this emergency action to reduce risk to the public and to the dam itself," he said in a statement.

If the dam, which is nearly a mile long, were to break, flooding in communities downstream along the Cumberland River could kill people and cause an estimated $3.4 billion in damage, Roemhildt said.

Cities along the Cumberland include Nashville, Tenn., whose metro area contains 1.4 million people.

Kentucky Commerce Secretary George Ward said as many as 90 percent of the launching ramps will be unusable because they won't reach the water's surface."


Mississinewa reservoir in Indiana had a similar problem a few years ago, the earthen portion of part of the dam was settling due to seepage through a layer of soil below the dam. To prevent a possible failure of the earthen portion of the dam the water level of the lake was lowered about 20 feet below summer pool from the fall of 1999 until repairs were completed in the spring of 2005.

To repair the dam a slot was excavated down to the bedrock and a concrete barrier wall was poured to stop the seepage of water under the dam. The repair was 2,600 feet long and 150 to 180 feet deep. The contractor was a joint venture between Bencor/Petrifond; Bencor is out of Dallas Tx. while Petrifond is Canadian.

There are only a handful of companies that specialize in this process world wide and the repair to the dam at Mississinewa is a lot smaller than the repair needed at Cumberland, with WKRN of Nashville reporting a mile long stretch of the earthen dam needing repairs and Wolf creek dam is listed at 240 feet high with the concrete retaining wall inside the dam probably needing to be even higher.

Also of note is that during the Mississinewa repair the roadway across the dam had to be closed during the repairs and a little temporary roadway and bridge was built below the dam for local traffic.

The cost of the Mississinewa repair was fifty five million dollars.

Artifact hunters had a heyday picking up Native American artifacts as the bare land eroded with each rainfall. I would suggest that some attempt be made to plant the newly exposed soil with some cover crop to reduce erosion, a policy not followed at Mississinewa.

Many local businesses failed during the years of the lowered water level at Mississinewa, marinas moved or went under, bait shops closed and brush and trees slowly started to reclaim the newly exposed land. The impact on the economy at Lake Cumberland will be even more intense as Lake Cumberland is ringed with many more businesses targeting the lakes many users,

01-24-2007, 07:37 PM
I'm sure this is good safety measure that has to be completed.
How will this effect the Trout program at the Wolf Dam?
I know that the water is a chilling 52 degrees from the bottom of the lake. A temp that is constant and perfect for the trout. By lowering the lake won't the sun be able to reach deeper and warm the water to an unacceptable temperture that could harm the program?
Does anyone have any information on this?

01-25-2007, 02:01 PM
What boat you on Wiskers?
I'm on the M/V Midland Star this trip. :(

01-25-2007, 02:08 PM
Hey Whiskers, I am glad to see you post. I have been thinking about you since the Tow sank last weekend. I am glad to see you weren't involved. Did you know any of the guys on that boat?
Yep that was a bad deal. The boat that sunk was the M/v Bruce D. I caught the boat that rescued 2 of the crew the morning after the incident. They never have found the 3rd guy. I appreciate your concern. I just came by your ol'stomp'n grounds yesterday ( Eddy Creek, Little River). I am up above Cheatam lock right now headed to Nashville. Wish I was fish'n! :D