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Flooding on Kentucky Lake May 2011
This year the water level in Kentucky Lake, (Tennessee River) hit an all time high since the Kentucky Lake dam was built in the 1940's. The top of the dam is at 375 ft above sea level. The water on May 7th hit 374 ft. This video was taken on April 30th when the water was at 370 ft., the highest I have ever seen in person. We did not go to the boat on May 7th as the parking lot was completely under water and the big event of the year, the Kentucky Derby party had to cancelled. Let me explain the video. There is an error on the heavy rain scene which was April 24th and not May 24th. These heavy rains led to high water on the lake. However, the real problems came when TVA closed the Kentucky Dam spillways due to high water on the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. On April 30th with the water at 370 ft or 11 ft above summer pool the parking lot was 90% covered in water and the ramp under several feet of water. A small dinghy had been rigged on a clothesline to carry boaters from the parking lot to the docks.  This worked pretty well, but the real problem was the breakwater was under a foot or two of water and provided no protection from a northeast wind. This is why the video shows the boats bouncing around in ways never experienced before. It was also very noisy with many boats straining at the lines and hitting the docks. The docks at Kenlake Marina are held in place by long poles called stud poles driven into the bottom. If the water level gets too high, a dock can rise above the poles and break loose from the only thing holding it, the ramp. This happened to an exposed 25 ft dock when the wind was high.  This dock was towed into the harbor with a couple of john boats and anchored safely. It will not be put back in its original location. Enjoy the video.
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