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FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Fearing a dam break that could cause catastrophic flooding in Kentucky and Tennessee, the Army Corps of Engineers began lowering the water level on Lake Cumberland on Monday.
The measure was aimed at reducing pressure on the weakened 240-foot-high dam, said Lt. Col. Steven J. Roemhildt, commander of the Corps of Engineers' Nashville office.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Monday began lowering the water level on Lake Cumberland in what it called "emergency measures" to alleviate pressure on Wolf Creek Dam.
The leaky 240-foot-high dam is enough of a threat to break that officials were warning residents in the downriver areas to develop evacuation plans as they announced the project.
For many residents and tourists — as well as many fish — the results of the lake lowering will be severe. But a breach of the mile-long dam would no doubt be worse, causing an estimated $3 billion in damage to cities along the Cumberland River, which cuts through downtown Nashville, Tenn.