Oktibbeha County Lake dam

Officials work on the Oktibbeha County Lake dam after County Engineer Clyde Pritchard warned the dam's failure was imminent.

Oktibbeha County officials are encouraging evacuations of the area in the vicinity of the Oktibbeha County Lake dam after it was found that failure of the dam was “imminent” following heavy rainfall over the last few days. 

The county said in a press release Tuesday that after observations, County Engineer Clyde Pritchard said the lake is at an extremely high level and believe dam failure is imminent.

The Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors has issued a warning and activated its emergency action plan as the conditions are viewed as unfavorable.

The dam is located north of Perkins Drive between Riviera Road and Walter Bell Road.

The county asks residents along these streets to evacuate to high ground immediately.

“We will not be issuing a mandatory evacuation at this time, however we encourage residents in the nearby vicinity of the dam to evacuate and move to a safe distance from the dam and inundation area,” the county said in a press release.

In the event of a dam failure, the following roads will be closed:

• County Lake Road – Closed from Highway 83 to Harrell Road

• Walter Bell Road – Closed from County Lake Road to Watershed Drive

• Perkins Drive – Entire road

• Highway 389 – Closed from Wade Road to Sudduth Road

• Reed Road – Closed from Highway 25 Bypass to County Lake Road

• Highway 82 – Closed from County Lake Road to Highway 25 Bypass

• Sun Creek Road – Closed from Camp Seminole Road to Highway 389

• Highway 50 – Closed from John Henry Toad to Tribble Road

• Water Well Road – Entire road

This is a developing story. For more, read Wednesday's Starkville Daily News.

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