Lake Levels Dangerously Low Across Middle Tennessee
by Chris Conte
SMITHVILLE, Tenn. – Hidden Marina on Center Hill Lake in Smithville is appropriately named but people who live or boat on this lake will tell you the problem going on here is far from a secret they'd like to keep.
"There's nothing we can do but pray for rain," says Ricky Teal who works at the Marina.
In all his years working at the marina, Ricky can't recall ever seeing the lake this low.
"The level being as it is you lose so much of your volume, the distance from side to side is dramatically reduced," the 54-year-old says.
Ricky believes the lake has dropped about 25ft. over the last few weeks simply due to the lack of rain.
"A break would be nice," he adds.
The problem is so bad, the fire department is worried that at some point they may not be able to get their rescue boats loaded into the water because the boat ramp will no longer be long enough to reach down into the lake.
"Say we had a marina fire somewhere on the lake, it would make it very difficult to get to the marina," Ricky says.
As the water level has gone down over the last few weeks, more and more rocks have continued to pop up making it dangerous for boaters.
"You just have to be cautious when you're out there," says boater Patti Roberts.
Patti knows though the only thing that can fix this problem is rain.
"It's still beautiful out here, just a little dry."