Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Can't Be Good...

Water spills out of caves on the hillside next to the
Center Hill Lake Dam.

In a future post we'll write about a recent kayaking trip we took down the Caney Fork.  One of the highlights of the trip was paddling up close to the nearly 60-year-old dam at Center Hill Lake (before they started generating) and seeing some of the caves that are, literally, leaking water from the lake.  I don't know the full story, which you can read more about here, but essentially the dam at Center Hill Lake is considered endangered - as in endanger of collapsing.  The bluffs the dam were constructed in are limestone and filled with caves.  Water from the lake is leaking in to these caves and entering the river.  Army Corp of Engineers calls this "seepage", but as you can see it's a straight-up gushing waterfall. This kind of defeats the purpose of a dam if water is able to escape the lake without control.


Restoration plans are underway to shore up the dam, including plugging the caves with concrete.  I love caves, and kind of hate hearing that they'll be plugged, but for this purpose I completely understand.

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