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Dale Hollow & Center Hill Lake Water Levels Already Down Per Plan

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Dale Hollow & Center Hill Lake Water Levels Already Down Per Plan

Dry weather may be causing issues in various parts of the Upper Cumberland, but not at the biggest bodies of water, Dale Hollow and Center Hill Lakes.

Robert Dillingham is Civil Engineer for the Nashville District of the Corp of Engineers. He said both Dale Hollow and Center Hill were prepared for the lack of rain this season.

“Having them filled from the summer pool through the spring rains, really puts us in a good shape for this time of year when things do dry up,” Dillingham said. “We’re seeing less flow from the projects, so we’re releasing less water from them, but on the lake side, above the dam, the elevation is right where it usually is and right where we want it to be.”

Dillingham said the lower lake levels come at a time where they would be lowering levels anyway to allow those who live on the lakes to perform maintenance on docks. He said even if the drought extends into the early spring they are prepared.

“We basically plan on not having any notable rainfall this time of year, because it’s quite common that we don’t,” Dillingham said. “Even the rainfall we get is typically soaked into the ground, so you don’t see a whole lot of run off this time of year. This could continue for another couple months, and I don’t see any issues.”

Dillingham said if the drought had come in the spring and early summer there would be concern with lake levels. He said the drought is not a concern due to planning and preparation.

“Short, medium and long term outlooks for our reservoir elevation, we’re looking at where we want to be for the elevation next week, next month and 60 days from now,” Dillingham said. “We’re constantly recalculating our average inflows and then deciding on our outflows. We don’t control how much water is flowing into Dale Hollow. The Obey River above Dale Hollow is a natural free-flowing river, so we get what we get there, but we do control how much water gets released from the dam. In adjusting that, we can adjust the lake elevation.”

Dillingham said the reason we do not see our lakes get extremely low or dry up in the Upper Cumberland is because of regulation.

“This area is very fortunate to have the regulation we have on these rivers,” Dillingham said. “80 years ago the rivers the Caney Fork, the Obey and the Cumberland River were very different Hydrological features. The control we have over them with these large dams, specifically with Dale Hollow and Center Hill but also Wolf Creek up in South Central Kentucky and Cordell Hull out near Carthage, they provide a great semblance of control over these rivers, and we’re able to mitigate flooding but also mitigate drought. It’s got us in a pretty good spot for regulating these rivers.”


The post Dale Hollow & Center Hill Lake Water Levels Already Down Per Plan appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.