Edmonson Voice Staff Report
In a statement received earlier today, the Army Corps of Engineers has announced that the Green River Dam #6 is deteriorating. In the interest of public safety at the dam site, they are requesting the public to keep out of the area and off the structures. Recreational boaters and those who canoe should stay clear of the area and not approach the upstream side of the dam.
The statement also said vertical lock walls are continuing to be undermined as well as the main dam concrete section. These elements are likely to collapse in the near future. While low head dams always present dangers to recreational boaters, the current condition of the dam is hazardous.
This dam structure is classified "Low" Hazard which indicates that there are no life safety risks with the release of water due to a failure of the structure. There is no commercial navigation so there are little to no economic consequences with a failure. When the main structure fully breaches an additional increase in flow is expected to occur downstream but would have no impacts.
Water is flowing through a void under the right side of the dam structure, near its joint with the lock wall. This condition, monitored by USACE, indicates a partial failure of the dam. In this circumstance, during periods of low flow, water has traveled under the dam as opposed to traveling over it and has caused scouring.
The lock and dam were built in 1904-1905 and put into operation in 1906. Due to a lack of commercial navigation, USACE ceased operations at Lock and Dam 6 in 1951. A Disposition Study has been completed for this structure, and USACE recommended no action be taken for any repairs to the structure.
As a result, the water level at Houchins Ferry has dropped immensely. From the Edmonson Voice photos above, you can compare the current water level with where it should be, which is up near the orange barricades. The boat ramp at Houchins Ferry will remain closed until further notice.