Dam Safety, HYDROVISION International, News, North America

Warnings issued about potential dam break in Oktibbeha County, Mississippi

Heavy rains falling in Mississippi are causing concerns, with warnings issued by emergency management officials in Oktibbeha County about potential failure of the dam impounding Okhibbeha County Lake.

Severe weather hit the state Jan. 11, and the governor signed a declaration of emergency that day, saying, “The storms have caused damage and high flooding will continue to be a threat.”

On Jan. 14, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency said the county engineer performed an inspection of the Okhibbeha County Lake dam. He reported “extremely high water levels” and believed “failure of the dam is imminent.”

MEMA says officials are continuing to monitor the dam, and there is still potential for a breach. The dam was inspected this morning, and MEMA says pressure continues to build. However, at this time there are no mandatory evacuations, only recommended evacuations.

Failure of the dam threatens “dozens of homes in the area.” According to the Starkville Daily News, the county supervisor has “long called for repairs to be made” to the dam, and the area of concern is “the same location where a repair was made years ago,” in 2016.

The HYDROVISION International event has a track of sessions on Civil Works and Dam Safety. Click here to see the content. This world’s largest hydro industry event takes place July 14-16 in Minneapolis, Minn., U.S.