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Imminent Activation of Arkabutla Lake Dam Spillway

Published April 16, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District notified local authorities and emergency management personnel April 16 that the activation of the spillway at Arkabutla Lake Dam, located 35 miles north of Marks, Mississippi, is imminent.  

Arkabutla is one of four lakes in Mississippi maintained and operated by the Vicksburg District. The district’s four flood control reservoirs – Enid, Grenada, Sardis and Arkabutla lakes – are used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure.

The reservoir at Arkabutla Lake Dam is currently at an elevation of 237.4 feet and is forecasted to rise to an elevation of 238.5 to 239 feet by April 22 based on current water on the ground and the National Weather Service’s precipitation forecast. The project’s spillway is at an elevation of 238.3 feet; any reservoir elevations above 238.3 feet will pass through the project’s spillway until the reservoir pool drops below the spillway crest.

Reservoirs at Enid Lake and Grenada Lake dams are currently within five feet of their spillway crest. As of April 15, the reservoir at Grenada Lake Dam is at an elevation of 229.4 feet, and the project’s spillway is at an elevation of 231 feet. The reservoir at Enid Lake Dam is at an elevation of 264.9 feet, and the project’s spillway is at an elevation of 268 feet.

The Vicksburg District will continue to monitor water elevations throughout the region and will issue an update if a change in forecast indicates that spillway flow at Grenada and Enid lake dams is imminent.

Citizens are encouraged to contact local authorities and management officials for updates about conditions in their area and should avoid activities on or near flood control works.

The four Mississippi reservoirs were authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936, which provided a plan designed to address flooding that originated in the Yazoo Basin. The plan included a combination of lakes supplemented by levees and drainage works in the Delta area. During significant rainfall events in the basin, USACE uses the lakes to hold back water from further contributing to flows downstream in the basin. When downstream stages are low enough to permit, additional water is released from the lakes to assure as much storage in the lakes as possible for the control of subsequent floods.

Reagan Lauritzen

Release no. 19-009