Officials Lower Lake Cumberland Levels to Avoid Dam Rupture

Jamestown, KY. (AP) -- The Army Corps of Engineers says it will reduce the level of Lake Cumberland to take pressure off of Wolf Creek Dam.

The earthen dam near Jamestown in South-Central Kentucky is 240 feet high. It was built in the early 1950s and holds back just over a hundred miles of the Cumberland River's North Fork.

The Corps considers Wolf Creek one of its highest risk dams.

Officials say when the water is drawn down, as many as 90 percent of the boat launching ramps will be unusable, because they won't reach the water.

Emergency preparedness officials in Tennessee have been discussing plans in case the dam collapsed and sent a torrent of water down the river toward cities downstream, including Celina, Carthage, Hartsville, Hendersonville, Nashville and beyond.

The dam is more that a mile wide and impounds the largest reservoir east of the Mississippi River.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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