Desoto County News

Interim repairs at Arkabutla Dam can proceed

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reports that interim risk reduction measures continue at Arkabutla Dam.

On Feb. 27, a contract was awarded to Frontier Services, Inc. for the installation of six relief wells with lateral discharges, installation of additional piezometers (groundwater monitoring devices), and automation of the monitoring system at the dam.

The notice to proceed was issued on March 3 and on-site work is expected to begin in late April or early May once construction materials are procured. It is anticipated that work will be completed in the fall of 2024. The work is in response to the potential breach emergency status issued in May 2023 because of observed signs of distress at the dam.

Currently, the target lake level is below 210’ and the district is proactively working to keep the level at approximately 204’ to provide leeway in the pool level during the wet season.  Because lake levels fluctuate quickly, the potential breach emergency WATCH status at Arkabutla Dam will continue throughout the rainy season.

Engineers and a design team are working on a permanent long-term fix for the dam that will likely take 7-9 years to complete.

Camping and other recreational uses of the Arkabutla Lake area remain open, with the exception of day use and fee use areas directly downstream of the dam. All boat ramps remain closed; however, visitors can launch small boats from the gravel landing at the Coldwater River.

Lake Staff and additional personnel are vigilantly monitoring the situation at Arkabutla Dam for any changes. 

The Corps of Engineers says users should visit this site to get regularly updated reservoir pool levels: