Pumps working to alleviate risk of Oktibbeha dam failure

Pumps working to alleviate risk of Oktibbeha dam failure
The pumps are removing water from Oktibbeha County Lake. (Source: WTVA)

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) - Oktibbeha County EMA officials said they are making progress to reduce pressure on the dam at Oktibbeha County Lake.

Excessive rainfall early last week raised the lake’s water level, putting extra pressure on the dam. To prevent the dam from failing, the county is lowering the lake’s water level. Pumps continue to remove water from the lake.

District 3 Supervisor Marvell Howard said the lake is down 3.5 feet since last Tuesday. Their goal is to lower the water level by 5 feet.

With the additional pumps, Howard said the county’s long-term goal is to drain the lake completely in order to remove an outlet tower.

Residents who live near the lake are breathing much easier as progress on the lake continues.

EMA previously asked residents to voluntarily leave their homes for safer grounds. Longtime resident Linda Turner-Edmond said evacuating her home would be a hassle, citing her mother-in-law's handicap.

Oktibbeha County has downgraded the classification from a “warning” to an “advisory.”

County Lake Road remains closed as of Monday afternoon from just north of Riviera Road to just south of Walter Bell Road. County officials want residents to make travel arrangements to avoid the worksite.