Vicksburg District temporarily closes gates, Highway 301 at Arkabutla Lake due to sinkhole

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A sign along I-10 informing persons who travel from Louisiana to quarantine is shown Sunday, March 29, 2020, in Beaumont, Texas. The state is ratcheting up restrictions on neighboring Louisiana, one of the growing hot spots for coronavirus in the U.S. Just two days after Texas began requiring airline passengers from New Orleans to comply with a two-week quarantine, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said state troopers will now also patrol highway entry points at the Louisiana border. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

VICKSBURG, Miss. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District temporarily closed the dam’s gates and Highway 301 at Arkabutla Lake, located in Tate and DeSoto counties in north Mississippi, due to the discovery of a sinkhole July 19.

USACE Vicksburg District engineers have inspected the site and have observed no water within the sinkhole and no seepage or sand boils near or downstream of the sinkhole. The sinkhole, which is located at Arkabutla Dam near the outlet conduit, is not expected to impact recreation at the lake.

The dam’s gates have been closed to inspect the sinkhole and surrounding area and will be reopened once inspections are complete and no further issues are detected. Vicksburg District engineers will continue to monitor the sinkhole and investigate other flood risk management features in its vicinity.

Highway 301 will remain closed until repairs related to the sinkhole are complete. One lane of the road at the top of the dam, which was closed July 10 for the installation of new piezometers, will be reopened to accommodate traffic. The road’s other lane will remain closed until the installation is complete.

Arkabutla, Sardis, Enid and Grenada lakes, the four Mississippi flood control reservoirs in the Vicksburg District’s area of responsibility, were authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1936, which provided a plan designed to address flooding that originated in the Yazoo Basin. The four reservoirs are used to hold runoff, or excess rainwater, as a flood-prevention measure. With approximately 3.2 million visitors each year, the north Mississippi lakes also contribute approximately $82 million into the local economy.

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 seven major river basins and incorporates approximately 460 miles of mainline Mississippi River levees. The district is engaged in hundreds of projects and employs approximately 1,100 personnel.

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