Rough River Lake level coming down
Rough River Lake Releases to be Reduced
Rough River Lake, Ky. – Rough River Lake reached a record pool elevation of 527.4 ft. on May 3, 2011. The reservoir and dam performed as designed and stored water to reduce downstream flood damages. The elevation of the overflow spillway was reached which initiated uncontrolled flow through the spillway, as designed. This is the first time the spillway has been activated since completion of dam construction in 1958.
The elevated reservoir elevation has impacted private and public areas around the lake shore. Since the reservoir hit record pool the project has been releasing approximately 5000 cfs to lower the reservoir pool and regain flood control storage. This is near the maximum capacity of the projects outlet works. At this time, the reservoir has regained approximate 50% of its flood storage capacity.
Releases are currently being reduced to alleviate impacts to downstream communities, roads, and agriculture. Downstream areas should already have begun to see slight reductions in stream flows and associated levels. The reduction in releases is being performed in a gradual manner to limit impacts that could result from rapid reduction in stream flows. The project has returned to normal operation.
The tailwater recreation area has been closed to the public during this event as the high releases create an unsafe environment. In addition, public recreational facilities (picnic shelter, restrooms, and parking lot) have been damaged due to the elevated tailwater and wave action of these high releases. The tailwater recreation area will remain closed until repairs can be made.
Campgrounds affected by the high reservoir elevation will be reopened as repairs are completed. Axtel and North Fork Campgrounds are expected to reopen July 1. The lower portion of Laurel Branch Campground is expected to reopen August 1.