Two landslides, one dam still at risk of failure in Oktibbeha County

Crews in Oktibbeha County work continuously to avoid the failure of a dam that could seriously impact those living nearby.

Posted: Jan 20, 2020 6:51 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2020 1:09 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Crews in Oktibbeha County work continuously to avoid the failure of a dam that could seriously impact those living nearby.

Right now, water is being pumped from Oktibbeha County Lake to relieve pressure from the dam.

Since Friday, the lake has lowered 2 feet, but the county engineer said it needs to lower 5 feet to be out of the "danger zone." Officials said it could take weeks before that happens.

At this time, County Lake Road is closed from just north of Riviera Road to just south of Walter Bell Road.

During the weekend, six additional water pumps were installed. The pumps and siphons are pumping 50,000 gallons of water out of the lake per minute.

Oktibbeha County EMA Director Kristen Campanella said, "Pritchard Engineering, members from Oktibbeha County including the Board of Supervisors, Road Department and members from each of the seven Oktibbeha County Volunteer Fire Department worked together [on Sunday morning] to fill sandbags and placed tarps along the areas surrounding the slide. After about an hour into the process, J&M Bagging from Eupora, MS arrived on site to donate a trailer filled with 1,000 filled sandbags."

County officials encourage residents to make arrangements before traveling in this area. This portion of County Lake Road will be closed an undetermined amount of time.

The Red Cross shelter will close Monday at noon and it will be on standby in the event of significant rainfall on Thursday. The shelter is located at the First Baptist Church Outreach Center at 210 S. Jackson Street in Starkville. This is a pet-free shelter, but the Oktibbeha County Humane Society will board pets for any evacuees from the area.

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