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Publication date: Apr. 18, 2007


The Army Corps of Engineers has finally posted on-line maps showing the areas that would be flooded if the Wolf Creek Dam failed. The move came after a confusing series of policy reversals about public access to this critical information.

Louisvillle Courier-Journal reporter James Bruggers tells the story in an April 17, 2007, article, and the paper's portal page for ongoing coverage of the issue gives links to the so-called "inundation maps."

Earlier this year the Corps began drawing down water levels in Lake Cumberland because of concerns over possible dam failure. It is no secret that billions of dollars in damage to the local economy could result from a dam failure. The Corps first said it would give Bruggers electronic copies of the maps - then reversed its decision and refused to provide them, citing terrorism concerns. In the end, Corps officials said they were making an "exception" to their non-disclosure policy because dam failure was an actual concern.

The case has broad implications for national policy on disclosure of dam safety information that could save many lives.

Last revised January 22, 2013

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