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Jenkins planning for dam emergency

Ragged flags bother Jenkins

The City of Jenkins will develop an enhanced emergency action plan to ensure the safety of residents in the event of a catastrophic event involving the Elkhorn Dam.

At the March meeting of the Jenkins City Council, Mayor Todd Depriest told the council that there is no imminent danger of the dam breaking, but it does need to be repaired. Depriest said that developing an emergency action plan that will include evacuation plans for residents living below the dam will be an important step in securing the necessary funding to repair the dam and address other issues.

Depriest said that students from regional colleges will assist with canvassing residents, and will concentrate on people who live in at-risk and low-lying areas. He said this is one of several steps that will be important to obtain the needed funding to strengthen the dam, but it will be necessary in order to move forward.

Depriest said that when the dam was initially constructed in 1912, hydrologists estimated the amount of water it contained at 90 million gallons. He said that the most recent examination by engineers provides an estimate of 30 million gallons. This is due mostly to siltation that was caused by strip mining and highway construction in the watershed. Dredging the lake to increase capacity is one of the steps in the Elkhorn Dam project. Not only will it increase the amount of water available to the city, but by making the lake deeper, it will create a less favorable environment for the water lilies that create a number of problems in the lake.

In other business, the Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department has decided to accept the bid from Rescue Tech of Shelbyville for rescue equipment that will be used to extract victims from car wrecks. Fire Chief Rick Corbett and several firefighters attended the meeting. Corbett said a seven-man panel had reviewed all the bids for longevity and other factors, and decided on the Genesis Equipment sold by Rescue Tech. Corbett said the bid came in under budget and the $43,300 grant the department received would pay for everything.

Councilman Rick Damron said he was recently at the Civil War monument at the entrance to Raven Rock on US 23, and the flags there are in bad shape from the constant winds. He said some of them are in shreds and the city should contact the people who take care of the monument.

Depriest said there are covered locks on the bottom of the flagpoles that make it impossible to take the flags down without a key, but he will try to get in touch with the group that manages the monument. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, Ben Caudill Camp, was the driving force behind the monument, which was dedicated in 2007.

The Jenkins Police Department answered 98 calls of service in February and made 17 arrests. Officers issued 15 citations, served five warrants, and gave five warnings. Two of the arrests were for DUI and five and were for domestic violence. Officers also answered two collisions with injury and four collisions without injury. They made five motorist assists. Since K-9 Officer Vaxi joined the force, she has located narcotics or a firearm six times. She also assisted several other agencies in the county to help with search warrants, vehicle traffic stops, and to locate drug paraphernalia located along the side of the highway.

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