Desoto County News

UPDATE: Arkabutla Lake peaks below original forecast

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials report that Arkabutla Lake peaked on Sunday, April 14 at 213.68 feet which is below the original forecast of over 215 feet. Rain predicted to fall in the Coldwater River Basin early last week fell south of the area lowering the expected peak pool level at Arkabutla Lake.

Marks, Mississippi, earlier predicted to peak at 39 feet, peaked at 38 feet which is below minor flood stage. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District continues to coordinate with the National Weather Service, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, and local emergency management agencies to maximize public awareness in affected areas and to plan for possible future flooding.

The target pool for Arkabutla Lake is 204 feet. With the current seven-day rain forecast, Arkabutla Lake is expected to reach a 204 feet pool level next week. This could change based on the actual amount of rainfall the basin receives.

Because lake levels fluctuate quickly, a potential breach emergency WATCH status at Arkabutla Dam will continue through the rainy season. The potential breach is associated with observed signs of distress discovered in May 2023 at Arkabutla Dam. The physical condition of the dam is unchanged, and a dam breach is NOT imminent.

A contract to install interim repair 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.

Highway 51 Landing provides boating access into the Coldwater River above Arkabutla Dam and will remain as the only open boat ramp at Arkabutla Lake.

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