Lake Cumberland at historically high levels following recent rainfalls
BURNSIDE, Ky. (WKYT) – Terry Drysdale of Independence had to wade out to the boat dock to get to his boat after parking his truck and trailer at Gen. Burnside Island State Park Friday afternoon.
“I’m hoping I’m tall enough. That I can get out to it,” he quipped, while looking at the walkway leading to the small dock.
Higher lake levels have submerged the walkway at the Pulaski County boat ramp.
“I’m amazed at how high the levels are. Never seen it this high before. It is up,” said Drysdale, with a crew of family and friends visiting the lake from their home in northern Kentucky.
In fact, an official with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the agency of the federal government that manages the lake, says the lake’s elevation of 730 feet above sea level is at its highest level ever for the month of July.
“I was putting in at the next ramp up, but it’s so loaded with debris that I came on down here here yesterday,” said Gary Wallace, who was putting a jet ski in the lake at Waitsboro Landing near Somerset.
The extra water has caused more debris to float down the river from eastern Kentucky and collect along the banks at Waitsboro.
“I’m just worried about the debris more than anything out in the water. Be careful around it,” said Drysdale.
Army Corps officials say they are working to clean debris along boat ramps and main channels. They say more water is being kept in the lake for flood control downstream.
“It’s the main storage facility for the entire Cumberland River system. So we are holding water back not just to mitigate the Cumberland River, but also the Mississippi,” said Tom Hale with the Army Corps.
The lake is expected to crest Sunday at 732.4 feet above sea level.