Lock and Dam #50
This is a view of dam that was taken below the dam facing toward the lock wall. The weight of the ice is getting to heavy for the structure and it was decided to lower the dam to keep the ice  from destroying the dam. We had to move our fleet below the dam on the Illinois side of the river to protect it from the ice. Our work boats suffered from the sharp ice. In the hull of the work boat below the hull was filled with solid ice, it was a floating chunk of ice. There was nothing we could do to remove the frozen water in the hull. We later in the summer filled the hulls of all our flats and small work boats with foam. Foam similar to what they put in bass boats today. Some of these work boats and flats are still in the water to this day. They are unsinkable; they may flip upside down but they will still float.

Here Randy Noe (left), Lawson Hammond (center) and Lewis Kelly (right) clear ice from the wickets so they can lower the dam from below.
Some days it was so cold that propellers on the towboats made ice slush which made it difficult for them to wash behind the gates;
they made more ice than they moved.

This photo shows you the power of the river current and the dangerous situations we worked in at Lock and Dam 50
That large piece of ice was a least 12" thick in the white layered section and about 6" thick in the clear (gray) sections.

These wickets are being lowered from beneath the dam because of the ice above the dam. The process was deliberate and slow.
Normally these wickets are lowered by the example photo below.

This method of lowering the dam is extremely fast.
We could lower the dam in about three hours at Lock and Dam 50.

Wicket Home Page
Lock and Dam 2007 Christmas Reunion at Newburgh Locks and Dam
Tom's Lock and Dam Stories
Tom's Lock and Dam Ice Photos
Lock and Dam 50 Highwater Photo
Lock and Dam 50 Photos and Stories
The Mississippi Queen at Lock 50
The Mississippi Queen Up Over the Pass at Dam 50
Lock and Dam 52 Photos and Stories
Weston Photos and Stories by Bonnie Gass
Blowing up Lock and Dam 50
Lock and Dam 50 Today
A Time to Dredge
Ohio River 3 Day Forecast
Lock 50 Today Video

If you would like to place a Wicket Dam photo or Wicket Dam story on this web site please send
a  jpeg photo and caption to:
TomLaurelD@gmail.com or call
270 965 2621

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Crittenden County Local Chapter 1373