Desoto County News

Heavy rainfall expected to raise Arkabutla Lake levels

Lake levels at Arkabutla Dam are expected to rise well above 215 feet and remain high for close to three weeks as spring rains continue. A potential breach emergency WATCH status at Arkabutla Dam remains in effect and 24-hour monitoring of the dam will begin once levels hit the 215-foot mark.

This potential breach is associated with observed signs of distress discovered in May 2023. The physical condition of the dam is unchanged, and a dam breach is NOT imminent.

To reduce pressure on the dam, the Vicksburg District will increase releases at the dam to approximately to 4,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to lower the pool to the targeted 204’. This increased release, along with ongoing precipitation will also increase downstream gages.

The gage at Marks, Mississippi is predicted to rise to 39 feet which is considered minor flood stage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District is coordinating with the National Weather Service, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and local emergency management agencies to maximize public awareness in affected areas and to prepare for the possible flooding.

A contract to install structural improvements to the dam has been awarded and construction is scheduled to begin in May 2024. Safety remains a top priority to the US Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. Lake Staff and additional personnel are vigilantly monitoring the situation at Arkabutla Dam for any changes.

Individuals should direct safety questions to their county emergency management agency.