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County engineer very concerned about dam at Oktibbeha County Lake

This week’s heavy rainfall is not helping. The water level has risen more than 8.5 feet from its lowest point during pumping and continues to increase.

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 1:32 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Oktibbeha County’s engineer is very concerned about the dam at Oktibbeha County Lake possibly failing.

Crews have been removing water from the lake for several weeks to reduce pressure against the dam.

The KOA campground is located at Oktibbeha County Lake. | Photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020

Pumps have been removing water from the lake for almost a month. | Photo taken on Feb. 11, 2020

This week’s heavy rainfall is not helping. The water level has risen more than 8.5 feet from its lowest point during pumping and continues to increase.

Tuesday morning’s inspection revealed no new signatures of distress.

“We also received reports that KOA Campground has evacuated the campground area,” EMA Director Kristen Campanella stated shortly after noon Tuesday. “While we have not been able to confirm this, we do know the water level was high and surrounding the cabin area earlier this morning.”

Oktibbeha County could issue a mandatory evacuation to nearby residents in the event the situation becomes worse.

A shelter was set up in January at the First Baptist Church Outreach Center on South Jackson Street in Starkville. The shelter is pet-free, but the Oktibbeha County Humane Society will house evacuee’s pets at its location on Industrial Park Road in Starkville. Evacuees need to call the shelter ahead of time to make arrangements. Call 662-338-9093.

Oktibbeha County officials are also monitoring a landslide behind the Oktibbeha County Jail. The slide formed after flooding in April 2019.

Another 4 feet of dirt slide overnight, Campanella Tuesday. She said crews are sandbagging in the area.

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