Rain pushing water level on Lake Cumberland

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) - Heavy rains have pushed the water level on Lake Cumberland higher than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants it for this summer.

Reservoir Operations Manager Tom Hale told The Commonwealth-Journal (http://bit.ly/12qHUVy) the lake will reach 714 feet above sea level Thursday. That's about nine feet below the tree line and nine feet above the 705-foot target level for this summer.

"It won't get any higher than 714 feet," said Hale. "It will take about a week to get it back to the 705 level."

Some 23,600 cubic feet of water per second were being released through Wolf Creek Dam to lower the lake.

There are no problems at the dam. A seven-year rehabilitation of the mile-long structure was completed in March and the lake level was allowed to rise 20 feet for this summer's vacation season.

At 6 a.m. Tuesday, the lake level was 712.96 and slowly rising.

Mike Zoccola, chief of the Civil Design Branch for the Corps' Nashville District, said the permanent concrete barrier wall inserted in the earthen section of the dam must be treated as a new dam, according to Corps policy. The lake is being allowed to rise in increments, 20 feet this summer and another 20 feet to pool stage by next summer.

Chuck Greif, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Jackson, said the Cumberland River went above flood stage about midnight Sunday and dropped below flood stage Tuesday morning. Wolf Creek Dam impounds Cumberland River.

The heavy rains also created tides along small creeks that washed a lot of debris into the lake.


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