Corps Changes Mind; Posts Wolf Creek Dam Maps Online
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reversed its position and posted online, maps depicting areas that would flood in the event of a failure of the troubled Wolf Creek Dam. Local news organizations had sought copies of the maps for publication. Previously, the Corps had denied those requests, citing concerns they could be used by terrorists.
The maps depict areas in Kentucky and Tennessee that would be flooded in the event of a failure of the dam. The Corps had restricted public access to the maps, making them available only at their Nashville, TN, office and at selected public libraries. While the public could view the maps, photos or other copies were prohibited.
Now the maps are available at the Corps' website here. The maps are organized by county. Once a county has been selected, an index map appears where specific maps can be selected. The inundation maps are aerial photographs, overlayed with a color-code which depicts three different levels of flooding. The maps are in the familiar Adobe Acrobat PDF format.
The Corps has significantly lowered the water level behind the leaking Wolf Creek Dam to lessen the pressure on it. A study showed that a catastrophic failure would cause more than $3 billion in damage and could kill as many as 237 people.