The Russian Troll Farms got nothing on us. The Elkhorn Tall-Tellers have been spinning yarns from thin air for decades.
Gossip and innunendo aren’t just street names in Elkhorn City.
The whoppers emanating from certain corners of town are strong enough to turn a world-renowned outdoor festival into a meth orgy. They could even turn a red dog into a slithering copperhead.
Most of the fantastic fallacies fabricated here in the big city are contained within the reach of Patty Loveless Boulevard.
But some carry further. Elkhorn Citians can roam as far as Pikeville in some instances. That’s where the doctors and lawyers are.
Which brings me to the latest fable wallowing around town. This one actually got smudged across the big Lexington newspaper.
A month or so ago, Sen. McConnell’s office announced the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers would be conducting a study that could expand whitewater opportunities.
This came after nearly 20 years of meetings between the Corps and various groups affiliated with the Russell Fork River. This includes outdoor recreation groups, tourism and economic development professionals, and various state agencies from Kentucky and Virginia.
The whitewater interests are seeking at least one more weekend of fall releases in November and a few weekends of scheduled low water releases, about one quarter the volume of the fall release, in the summer.
Soon, however, the machine kicked into gear. Word was the corp was looking at opening the gate to fall release levels 365 days a year.
In less than a week, a petition was going around town to stop the corp from releasing any water.
Within two weeks, I was informed what was really happening was Flanagan was cracked and the reservoir had to be completely drained to fix it. That meant the Corps would be blasting water for at least a straight year.
Since I sat in the majority of those Corps meetings, I was amused by these running tales, but at least I could relay the truth. Evidently, I haven’t been that convincing.
The myth managed to find its way into somebody’s attorneys office in the last month and that attorney decided to write about it for the folks in the Bluegrass.
About the only thing he got right is that Elkhorn is the most beautiful town in the eastern U.S., and he only wrote that to tick off people in Pikeville.
Nothing else in the article is close to reality. The Corps will look at up to four more days, two weekends, of 800-1000 cfs releases in November. The corp will look at a handful of 200-250 cfs releases on weekends in July-August.
There is nothing unnatural about the size of these flows. The river flows more than 1000 cfs after most moderate rains. It’s not unusual at all for rain to bring over 10 times that amount.
There used to be a jar in the sorely-missed Rusty Fork Restaurant. There was a $2 fine for repeating stories originated by particular Elkhorn residents and the jar was always about half full.
There’s an attorney and word slinger in Pikeville who needs to bring his two dollars this way.