Several hundred property owners along and near Rough River Lake are not happy with findings of a survey related to the original flow easement encroachment around the lake.
The flowage easement was setup as the property was acquired to build the containment lake and reservoir of Rough River by the US Army Corp of Engineers. After issues and concerns were raised after the flooding in 2001, the US army Corp of Engineers began to evaluate the 534 foot flowage easement of the lake.during the past several years a plan was developed to survey the entire lake and plot out areas of concern.
A recent survey segment by the Army Corps of Engineers has determined many homes are considered too close to the lake’s 534 flowage easement level, meaning hundreds of homes stand partially or entirely on the government’s easement and in the flood zone. A major concern is buried septic tanks and sewer systems which are compromised during flooding. When the septic systems are compromised, raw sewage enter into the fresh water lake which is the primary source of water for the Grayson County Water District and City of Leitchfield.
The lines were drawn in the 1950s, based on a straight line system, before most of the homes were built. They weren’t based on contour or property lines. The Army Corps of Engineers has gone back to the deeds of land purchases from the late 1950s, before homes were even here.
Many homeowners received letters telling them where their home sits to the water, and any changes need to be made at the homeowner’s expense. Tensions ran high as residents were shocked to hear they would have to possibly pay for changes, including administration fees to have work done. Diane Stratton, Project Manager of Rough River Lake, said “It is not our goal to force anyone to remove their home.” Stratton said officials are working property owners on a case by case basis as each property has different circumstances to address.
The survey is not done, as another 87 miles of 300 plus miles of the lake have been completed, which will result in additional property owners to receive a letter from the Army Corp of Engineers.