Lake Barkley Resource Manager Mike Looney said Lake Barkley crested Wednesday at 372.5 feet – the highest it’s ever been since it was completed in 1966. He then said that as of 1 p.m. Monday, the lake was at 369 feet, with the tailwater at 345 feet, and that they are expecting it to drop to about 367 feet today.
Looney said they had been releasing 60,000 cubic feet of water per second through the dam but that they had to increase it to 90,000 last week. He added that the headwater should drop by almost a foot per day, although the tailwater will drop more slowly because the Ohio River is still so high.
Randy Wade of Trigg County Emergency Management said on Monday afternoon that the flooding caused about eight or nine families in Linton and one family in Rockcastle to be completely cut off by road from emergency services.
There were plans in place for emergency services to reach them by boat if they were needed, but they weren’t, said Wade, who added that all of those families should have road access again by time this issue is released.
At last Tuesday’s Cadiz City Council meeting, Cadiz Public Works Director Kerry Fowler said they had to put 425 sandbags around blowers at the city’s wastewater treatment plant to try to keep water from getting into important equipment.
“We did fill out preliminary paperwork for FEMA, and the mayor (Cadiz Mayor Lyn Bailey) declared the city a disaster … last Monday,” Fowler said at the meeting. “We’re doing everything we can to keep the water out.”
Fowler said that the while the sewer plant is operating at a higher than normal capacity, it’s still working fine, although he added that if they lost the pumps, the plant would have to shut down.
The next day, Fowler explained that the blowers blow air into the water tanks at the sewer plant, and that the air is required to break down the sewage in the wastewater, and that the sewer plant would have to shut down if water caused the blowers to malfunction. However, he added that they do have backup blowers in case that happens.
Trigg County School Superintendent Travis Hamby said that the flooding has caused some minor delays and that some alternate bus routes were chosen in areas were roads were underwater, but added that there haven’t been any “major” disruptions.
John Jordan, administrator of Lake Barkley State Resort Park, said that the water has gone down quickly and the first nine holes of the Boots Randolph Course are open, but added that the trails and campgrounds are still closed and that they will need to wait for the water to go down further before they can accurately assess the damage.
However, he said that there is probably some electrical damage and some damage to the signs and that clean-up of the debris and sediment will probably the be the largest task. He also said it was too soon to tell when they will be able to open the beach.
Looney said that of the 32 recreational areas along Lake Barkley, both in Kentucky and Tennessee, 28 were completely underwater, and that 126 homes on the lake were completely cut off from emergency services.