Is Reelfoot Lake Disappearing?

Photo taken last summer from AOL Travel

Some resort owners think it is. Today’s story from the Lake County Banner:

Glen Spicer’s document charges the 20 pumps are taking some 14,000 to 16,000 gallons of ground water per minute and discharging it into Reelfoot Running Bayou which links the old Spillway with Reelfoot Lake and eventually empties into the Obion River.

The Spicer document is illustrated with color photos of the pumps, the large basin and water rushing into Reelfoot Running Bayou.

The document also alleges that “on October 14-15, the city of Samburg had two major underground water mains sheared in two by the shifting soil.”

Bo Bentley, owner of Bo’s Landing on the southside of Reelfoot Lake, is in agreement with the charges made in the Spicer document. “I think the pumping has adversely affected the lake and also our ground water,” said Bentley. “I have a (ground water) pump at home (on Keystone Drive) that I use to water the lawn and flowers and things. We had to go 24 feet down to find water. That pump is hardly bringing up any water at all right now.”

And, for a little background, there is more from the Banner from earlier this month.

Thousands of stumps have been exposed and crappie fishing has been excellent for those with the persistence and skill to navigate the low lake.

Three tombstones belonging to pioneer Lake County families were revealed by the low level of the Washout (see story, page one) and were recovered by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

Native American artifacts, which are illegal to be picked up, have been exposed in some areas of the lake.

Reelfoot Lake was at 10.31’ on Monday, about one foot above the lowest level ever recorded that came at 9.30’ on November 20 and 21 in 1953 according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The lake dropped to 9.59’ during the state initiated drawdown of 1985.

The gauge used by the USGS is located at Middle Landing on the south end of Reelfoot Lake. On Upper Blue Basin, where there is no gauge and the lake is much more shallow, levels may be very close to the drawdown levels of 1985.

A video was released this week talking about the Lake as well.

The drought is a reality here. I don’t know all the specifics, but some of the photos from the Banner’s stories and this one from the Weakley County Press sent in by a reader look pretty harsh.

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