McLean Lake Drained After Dam Breach

"Our glass is half full. I mean it's, we're not gonna let it get us down,” Jim Wilson said Sunday.

Wilson serves on the board for the McLean Fish and Game campground. He and others’ glass may be half full, but Guffy Lake is almost completely empty.

It started about 2:00 am Saturday morning, and by 4:30 in the afternoon, there was only a wide patch of muddy lake floor, with scant patches of ponds where the lake once was.

"I’ve never seen anything like it at all, it was really a shock when I heard about it,” Wanda Arnold said. She had been coming to the lake with her family for more than 30 years.

The lake was first dug out in 1952, and these days, McLean Fish and Game rents the land from the owners, the Tichnors.

"I must've been about six or seven when it was dug, Tolbert Tichnor said. "I was just kind of surprised. I said, well who pulled the plug?"

The people at the campground are still trying to figure that out. Up until Saturday, people loved to come camp, and fish for catfish, bluegill and bass. There was a children’s fishing competition planned for Saturday. Aliah Carlisle was in town for a children's fishing contest.

"My papaw said well we can't worry about that anymore, Aliah Carlisle said.

The snag in her plans: a leak in the lake’s dam. As devastating as it was to see the leak suck away 60 plus years of memories, it's a problem some people saw coming.

"Last year we had a problem across that dam over there, and they came and patched it,” Wilson said.

But the patch was just a bandage, and one that didn't last. Now the fish, the few that remain, are trying to cope with their now much smaller living space. And McLean Fish and Game is hoping its campers stick around, even with the main attraction down the drain.

"I’m hoping all of them doesn't pull out. I'm hoping that we can continue the memories that we have this year, they all say they're staying for the year,” Wilson said.

One young camper says not to worry.

"I have complete hope and faith in it. I think we can probably get it up in a couple years, maybe. And there probably won't be any fishing for a while, but at least we'll still have our old lake back,” Carlisle said.


More Stories

Don't Miss

  • Cutest Kiss Sweepstakes
  • Tristate Professionals
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Dr. Oz Wellness Network
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
  • Community Calendar
    Copyright 2018 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Video Center