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UPDATE: Arkabutla Dam Emergency: Lake levels drop below 204 feet

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District
Published Feb. 23, 2024

Vicksburg, Miss – Lake levels at Arkabutla Dam dropped below 204’ to 203.77 at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, 22 FEB. 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. The target lake level is below 210’ and the district is proactively working to keep the level at approximately 204’ which provides leeway in the pool level during the wet season. 

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 and an engineers and design team are working on a permanent long-term fix for the dam that will likely take 7-9 years to complete. 

On January 28, 2024, 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 in the Arkabutla Lake drainage basin.  Because lake levels fluctuate quickly, the WATCH designation will continue through the rainy season.

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.  

Please visit this site to get regularly updated reservoir pool levels: 

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 nine 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. 

Christi Kilroy

Release no. 24-008