Monday, June 15, 2009

Wolf Creek Dam

I wanted to post some pictures of a natural arch located close to my home. It is located below this dam on the river. I thought I would post some about the Dam before hand. I live about 5 miles from this dam. It is currently being reconstructed because there is severe leakage.

In late January 2007, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers placed the dam under a 'high risk' for failure designation, along with Center Hill Dam in Tennessee, both of which are two major dams upstream from Nashville, Tennessee. A new long-term solution has been proposed to solve, or control, the current seepage problem. A grout curtain and a new concrete diaphragm wall of greater dimensions will be constructed with newer technologies.[2] To reduce the current stresses on Wolf Creek Dam, and thus the risk, the Corps believes they should lower Lake Cumberland to 640 feet (195 m), 83 feet (25 m) lower than normal summer levels.[3] However, this will affect up to 200,000 area citizens' water supply and has also met resistance from marina owners, so the water level has remained at 40 feet (12 m) below its normal level. This lowered lake level is to be held for an indefinite amount of time and will be subject to frequent review.[2]. Wolf Creek Dam is also currently undergoing significant remediation measures to control the current seepage problem that has forced the high risk designation.

Phase one remedial work began in March 2006. Phase two, which includes grouting the dam's foundation, began in January 2007. Remediation is expected to be complete in 2014 and cost an estimated $309 million.[2] A risk-benefit analysis indicates that the benefit to cost ratio is 7 to 1.[1]

If Wolf Creek Dam fails, the estimated loss of life is 100 individuals and three billion dollars.[4]

In October 2007, warning sirens were installed in the Dam's surrounding counties[5][6], and Popular Mechanics cited Wolf Creek Dam as one of the top five disasters waiting to happen in the United States.[7]

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