KUTTAWA, Ky. (June 2, 2011) – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District Commander, Lt. Col. Anthony Mitchell welcomed the (acting) U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, Maj. Gen Merdith W. B. (Bo) Temple to Kentucky for a tour of the Lock, the Lake Barkley Dam and Power plant, the town of Smithland and various flood protection barriers, structures and pumping stations along the levees in Paducah, Ky. Temple also took the opportunity to observe firsthand the progress that the Nashville District is making on several major projects at the Kentucky Lock.
Don Getty, acting chief, project planning branch and project manager for Kentucky Lock began the tour and briefed Temple on the construction progress of the Kentucky Lock Addition Project and flood control reduction operations and most recent road and railway bridge projects upstream to the Dam. Getty explained how the construction has progressed on the cofferdam, located where the Upstream Lock Monoliths are located when it is completed.
“This was an extremely good visit for the Nashville District and exposure for the Kentucky Lock project,” said Getty. I think the general showed us strong interest and his support of the project through his many questions and comments,” Getty added.
Caleb Skinner, a senior mechanic at the Kentucky Lock had the opportunity to describe the operations of the dam and lock and the actions they took during, before and after the May flood this year. Skinner told Temple about his three generation family history connected to the Kentucky Lock and Dam.
Bob Sneed, Chief of Water Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, briefed Temple on flood control reduction operations and projects upstream taken during the recent floods. Sneed explained how the Great Lakes and Ohio Division operates, maintains and utilizes Lake Barkley and Lake Cumberland, two of the largest flood control reservoirs east of the Mississippi River.
“He had lots of questions and concerns,” said Getty. “It makes us feel good to know that our leadership has pride in our contributions.”
“I’m impressed with the work on these projects and support your efforts,” said Temple after touring the Kentucky projects and handing out coins to employees. “There’s great work going here and I’m proud of your efforts.”
Earlier in the morning, in Paducah, Temple met with City Engineer and Public Works Director Rick Murphy. They drove along the levee in Murphy’s red Chevrolet truck and showed Maj. Gen Temple the City’s floodwall, pumps, piping and high water marks at the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the Expo Center adjacent along the flood wall.
Murphy thanked Temple for the continued support of his Corps’ employees and work they provided to protect Paducah when heavy rains and flooding held the city hostage in mid May.
“We appreciate the Corps, their contributions to reduce flooding, efforts to make our community safe and work they have done for Paducah,” said Murphy.