As many people saw in the Journal World, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has required Bowersock to keep its millpond at damtop. We can go into this at greater length later, but this will make things very difficult for Bowersock, and over the long term for the City and the University of Kansas Boathouse. In essence FERC had to do this because there was a report on file that suggested the dam could be in imminent danger of failing. Since they are responsible for “dam safety,” they had to take action and require Bowersock to put less pressure on the dam by keeping the levels as low as possible. We hope to remedy this by expediting our dam repair project. We are working hard with the City of Lawrence to make this happen. Later I’ll give a full explanation of why the City of Lawrence is responsible for maintenance of the dam, but in short, the dam backs up water for the City’s water supply. So once we received the order from FERC, we went out on the dam last Monday and again today to try to get the boards down. Monday we had ice, weather, and equipment issues. Usually we don’t get out on the dam when the water is this high. Today Rich and I went out on the dam to try to drop 15 doors. We were making some changes to how we wanted to use the cable way and all of the sudden the river came up about a foot. This was probably due to an ice jam breaking upstream. (It is warm today!) When the supports started cracking behind the doors we hustled off the dam pretty quickly. The water levels are projected to go down another 1,000 cfs over the weekend so we’ll give it another shot on Monday. Here are some photos of us beginning the process of getting the doors down before the water came up. It’s not worth it to get anyone hurt and given that those doors weigh around 700 lbs. we need to be really cautious in this undertaking.