MAMMOTH CAVE, Ky., November 30, 2016 – Superintendent Sarah Craighead announced today that access to the Green River at Houchin Ferry is closed due to the sudden drop of the level of Green River following the breach of Lock and Dam #6. Park staff estimate the river level fell approximately nine feet at Houchin Ferry.
“We are watching the river and observing the changes that have occurred over the last few days,” said Craighead. “Our first concern is for visitor safety. The ramp at Houchin Ferry no longer reaches the river. The river bank is saturated with water and hazardous.”
Houchin Ferry campground and picnic area will remain open. The park will reassess river access at Houchin Ferry in the coming months.
Park staff surveyed part of Green River and Nolin River on Tuesday. They found the river banks to be extremely soft and muddy. They encountered swift current in places that previously were still. Downed trees blocked Nolin River above First Creek Lake.
“It will take time for the river and its banks to stabilize,” said Bobby Carson, the park’s chief of science and resource management. “The river is dynamic on an average day. Now with this sudden change we are facing conditions we have not encountered before.”