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USACE Vicksburg District begins 24-hour high water surveillance, closes areas at Arkabutla Lake

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District
Published April 7, 2021

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District has begun 24-hour surveillance of flood control structures at Arkabutla Lake due to high water.

High water levels have also closed the following roads and areas at the lake: the dam road; Baker Road; Highway 51 Landing; Highway 51 East Access; Dietchman’s Road Access; Coldwater Point; and sites 18, 19, 24, and 25 at South Abutment Campground.

Due to local rainfall, Arkabutla Lake is forecasted to crest at 237 to 238 ft. mid next week. Arkabutla Lake’s spillway elevation is 238.3 ft. Although current forecasts do not indicate that the spillway will overtop, if rainfall persists, an imminent yet minor overtopping is possible. If the lake does reach that crest, it will become 90 to 95% full and thus unable to store future rainfall.

Arkabutla Lake’s gates were opened yesterday as downstream conditions permitted. The gates will remain open until local rainfall or downstream conditions force a closure. The district and its partners will continue to monitor conditions and issue updates as needed. 

The public is 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.

Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes, the four Mississippi flood control reservoirs in the Vicksburg District’s area of responsibility, were authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936, which provided a plan designed to address flooding that originated in the Yazoo Basin. The four reservoirs are used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure. With approximately 3.2 million visitors each year, the north Mississippi lakes also contribute approximately $82 million into the local economy.

The USACE Vicksburg District is engineering solutions to the nation’s toughest challenges. The Vicksburg District encompasses a 68,000-square-mile area across portions of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana that holds seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The Vicksburg District is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

Anna Owens

Release no. 21-015