Lake Tangipahoa at Percy Quin Park is flooding. Its spillways are working, but nearly 10 inches of rain from Hurricane Isaac created two slides on the side of the dam.
"You don't have as much earth there to keep the water back, essentially and so that's a real threat," says Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Dam Safety Engineer Dusty Myers.
Louisiana National Guard helicopters are placing boulders on the dam to help ensure it doesn't fail. The Mississippi National Guard is also on the scene with bulldozers and trackhoes.
A breech is scheduled to begin Friday and could continue into Saturday.
"We'll remove some of the roadway and allow some of the pressure of the high water to simply go into the fields, lowering the threat," explained Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at a Thursday press conference.
"We want to control that. We don't want to open up a breech and cause more problems that we do good. So, we have to take our time and do that, and depends on how much rain fall we get coming in and I think the lake level has pretty much stabilized now," explains Myers.
Pumps are also being used to take water out of the Pike County lake, which could breech at any moment.
Bryant says he has talked to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about the dam. Precautions are being taken to protect residents downstream from the 700 acre lake and near the Tangipahoa River should the dam fail.
"Our immediate flood plain would help control that flow. It would not be a wall of water moving toward Tangipahoa parish in Louisiana. As it moved under the bridge, it would then dissipate within the low lying areas that we have designed in Mississippi," explained Bryant.
About 20 nearby homeowners were strongly advised to leave until the controlled breech was completed sometime Sunday. Pike County EMA says some residents did leave their homes.
Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.
Friday, August 22 2014 10:01 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:01:39 GMT
Grovetown Director of Public Safety Gary Owens has resigned his post, effective Friday.The resignation comes after a two day suspension by Mayor George W. James III following the escape of two inmatesMore >>
Grovetown Director of Public Safety Gary Owens has resigned his post, effective Friday.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 9:17 PM EDT2014-08-23 01:17:45 GMT
The cards and sentiments were flowing in as Richmond County students and staff said goodbye to their leader. "That's humbling," said Dr. Frank Roberson. "Both humbling, and encouraging." But the timesMore >>
The cards and sentiments were flowing in as Richmond County students and staff said goodbye to their leader.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 6:52 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:52:28 GMT
U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn stopped in Augusta on Friday and she called out her competitor David Perdue. "I pointed out. I said 'look we have someone who says they are for something different butMore >>
U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn stopped in Augusta on Friday and she called out her competitor David Perdue.More >>
Friday, August 22 2014 6:10 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:10:19 GMT
School is back in session, which means that many sports are back on the practice field. Dr. Robert Gambrell is an orthopedic and sports medicine specialist with Champions Orthopedic, and he has some do'sMore >>
With the return of school, comes the return of school sports. A sports medicine doctor has some tips for coaches and athletes about staying safe at practice during this extreme heat.More >>
3933 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30907