Staff pleasantly surprised Lake Cumberland is reopening early despite winter flooding

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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - Parts of Lake Cumberland are reopening ahead of schedule, despite some people's fears that the lake would not be ready for the summer boating season.

The Army Corps of Engineers in Nashville reported that most areas affected by winter flooding have reopened.

The Fishing Creek Campground that was originally expected to reopen in July and is expected to open back up May 10.

Parts of the Wolfe Creek Campground remain closed.

Cleanup efforts were a huge task as debris had to be moved and electrical equipment had to be repaired. Burnside Marina and Waitsboro Landing were covered with logs, trash and other debris that came down the Cumberland River.

"We lost a lot of anchors because of the elevation going up so much. Cables were not long enough. We got everything back under control pretty well. A couple of weeks away from the big holiday of the season," said Joe Sharpe with the Burnside Marina.

That flooding back in February reached record levels for Lake Cumberland. It was 756 feet above sea level and since then it dropped 33 feet.

Some feared the lake swelling would spell bad news for summer boaters with debris and dirty water, but some said the opposite actually happened.

"It is nature's way of clearing everything out. Cleaning everything up. Sometimes you just need to let Mother Nature do its thing and realize she knows what she is doing," said J.D. Hamilton with Lee's Ford Marina.

"The lake is probably looking as good as I have seen it ever. As far as the trash, debris, all the elevation put it up," said Sharpe. "We are 75 percent back to where we need to be. A lot of our stuff up on land we haven't had time to fool with like we need to, because we are getting our rental fleet ready to go."

People in the area said they are ready for the summertime crowd that will start arriving in two weeks. Marina managers said most of their reservations are sold out for the Memorial Day weekend.

"I think it's going to be the typical Memorial Day weekend. I mean, the economy is buzzing, the lake is back. People are excited to get out," said Hamilton.

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