Desoto County News

Potential breach emergency status increased at Arkabutla Dam

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Sunday, Jan. 28, 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.

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 to 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)

Because of the change in status, a flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service until 12 noon Wednesday.