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Will Tourists Return to Lake Cumberland?

To get a picture of what Lake Cumberland looks like now compared to last summer, all you have to do is take a look at 76 Falls. The popular cove has merely a stream of water in it now.

“First time I ever saw it that low, where you can see the ground. Usually when we're there you could [see] 20 or 30 houseboats there,” says Jerry Jagers of Athens, Ohio.

Jerry and his wife Peggy are among those commonly called the Ohio Navy. They're people from the Buckeye State that southern Kentucky businesses depend on to spend money on long holiday summer weekends.

“Well they're nervous,” says Jack Keeney of the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce of local businesses. “We just don't know. I wish we did. We don't know what's going to happen. We're having faith they are (boaters) coming. They're going to be here.”

Work is on the fast track to extend boat ramps so people won't be scared off by what some are calling a perception problem.

“We'll be back to full capacity when we get this one extended here,” says Bernie Kearns with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, pointing to work in progress at Waitsboro Landing in Somerset.

Federal officials say about 30 boat ramps should be done by Memorial Day weekend. And they say the ones that remain closed are smaller ramps that are rarely used.

Click below to see which of the major boat ramps are operative.


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