Mississippi dam monitored for potential breach; threat level increased

Published 8:46 pm Sunday, January 28, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a potential dam breach watch for Arkabutla Dam located in DeSoto and Tate Counties in Northwest Mississippi. The physical condition of the dam is unchanged, and a dam breach is not imminent.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has increased the potential breach emergency status at Arkabutla Dam from alert to watch because of increasing reservoir levels due to the recent weeklong precipitation and snow/ice melt in the Arkabutla Lake drainage basin.

This potential breach is associated with observed signs of distress discovered in May 2023. Interim risk reduction measures are underway; however, are not yet complete. Emergency repairs are expected to be completed this summer. Operational releases associated with lowering the lake are not expected to induce downstream flooding.

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District is coordinating with the National Weather Service and the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency to maximize public awareness in affected areas.

As always, safety remains a top priority for the US Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. Crews are on the ground to monitor the situation at Arkabutla Dam for any changes.

Current conditions at Arkabutla Dam include:
•            Reservoir Pool Elevation             213.6 feet elevation
•            Spillway Crest Elevation              238 feet elevation
•            Spillway Status                              Not Activated
•            Pool Restriction                             204 feet elevation
•            Current releases                            2,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)

Individuals should direct questions to their county emergency management agency.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana, that holds nine major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.