Lakes in Kentucky used to ease flooding rivers

You may have noticed more water than usual coming out of Kentucky Dam and Barkley Dam over the last few days. The dams were open to let some water out of the lakes after heavy rain. Now the dams are closing up to help ease the flooding on local rivers. After days of spilling water, flow reductions at both dams got underway on Wednesday. That will cause the lake to rise, but ease flooding downstream.

This winter is busier than usual for Big Bear Resort staff members, like office manager Jessica Lawrence.  

"We’ve been getting phone calls all morning, all day pretty much," Lawrence said. 

The resort is getting calls from campers worried about their property due to rising lake waters. Now the resort is doing its part to prevent property damage.

"Securing docks, tying them to land, getting all electric meters put away," Lawrence said.

"Both dams were designed for flood control," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers West Kentucky Operation Manager Toni Rushing. 

Rushing says Lake Barkley will also rise. The Corp of Engineers says both lakes will rise more than 15 feet more over the next seven to 10 days.

"They’re getting prepared, moving trailers," Rushing said.

Resorts are working to protect anything below that flood line.

"We’ll give them a heads-up and enough time if something were to happen where they need to evacuate," Lawrence said.

The campground will be open through the weekend for anyone who wants to pick up their property just to stay on the safe side.

Kentucky Lake is expected to crest at at an elevation of 369 feet on January 7. Lake Barkley is also crest around that elevation. This is still lower than both lake’s record high of 372 feet in 2011. 

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