Desoto County NewsMississippi News

UPDATE: Arkabutla Dam Emergency: Lake levels drop below 210 feet

Lake levels at Arkabutla Dam have dropped below 210 feet which greatly decreases the potential of a breach situation. Lake levels at Arkabutla Dam, located in DeSoto and Tate counties in Northwest Mississippi, can fluctuate quickly especially during the rainy season.

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District increased the potential breach emergency status at Arkabutla Dam from ALERT to WATCH because reservoir levels rose to over 210’ due to precipitation and snow/ice melt in the Arkabutla Lake drainage basin. Because lake levels fluctuate quickly, the WATCH designation will continue through the rainy season.

The Corps maintains the lake at approximately 204 feet to provide a safety margin and will continue to draw down the level this week to approximately 204 feet. 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.

The potential breach emergency status is associated with observed signs of distress at the dam 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 physical condition of the dam remains unchanged, and a dam breach is NOT imminent.

As always, safety remains a top priority to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District. Lake Staff and additional personnel are on the ground to monitor the situation at Arkabutla Dam for any changes.

Current conditions at Arkabutla Dam include:

  • Reservoir Pool Elevation – 208.7 feet elevation
  • Spillway Crest Elevation – 238 feet elevation
  • Spillway Status – Not Activated
  • Pool Restriction – 204 feet elevation
  • Current releases – 3,850 cubic feet per second (cfs)

Visit this site to get regularly updated reservoir pool levels:

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