Officials release water from Lake Tangipahoa, plan levee breach - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Officials release water from Lake Tangipahoa, plan levee breach

Posted: Updated:
Aerial view of water flowing from Lake Tangipahoa through floodgates Aerial view of water flowing from Lake Tangipahoa through floodgates
Ground level look at water rushing through the floodgates Ground level look at water rushing through the floodgates
Here is one damaged section of the dam Here is one damaged section of the dam
Here is the other damage spot along the dam Here is the other damage spot along the dam
PIKE COUNTY, MS (WAFB/WLBT) -

Officials in Louisiana and Mississippi are watching and waiting after a "controlled release" to relieve pressure on the dam at Lake Tangipahoa in southern Mississippi.

The release simply means opening the gates on the dam to let water flow out of it. The release of the pressure on the dam directly affects about 20 homes in Tangipahoa Parish, but if the structure was to fail, upwards of 60,000 people living along the Tangipahoa River could be affected.

Officials plan to intentionally breach the levee Friday to lower the lake more quickly. Check the Tangipahoa River level at Osyka, MS. Flood stage is 15 feet. The record there is 18.7 feet. Check the level at Kentwood. Flood stage is 13 feet. The record there is 17.5 feet. A flood warning is in effect for Tangipahoa Parish.

Park rangers at Percy Quin State Park noticed a large section of land washed away next to the dam on the 700-acre lake early Thursday morning. Nearly 10 inches of rain from Hurricane Isaac created two slides on the side of the dam.

Tangipahoa Parish called for a mandatory evacuation of all areas along the Tangipahoa River, within a half mile of the river, including the town of Kentwood, after parish officials were notified of the damage.

Soldiers with the Louisiana National Guard used helicopters to put boulders on the dam to help ensure it doesn't fail. The Mississippi National Guard was also on the scene with bulldozers and trackhoes to assist with the giant project.

Evacuations have been ongoing, and Jindal agreed to send buses to help move people out of the areas of potential hazard.

Shelter locations are as follows:

  • Hammond West Side Elementary Montessori School
  • Hammond Jr. High Magnet School
  • Natalbany Elementary School
  • Nesom Middle School
  • Amite High School
  • Kentwood High Magnet School

Residents should call 211 for the latest sheltering and evacuation information.

Police officers and sheriff's deputies spent a good part of Thursday going door-to-door letting people know about the river threat. Gov. Bobby Jindal sent buses to help move people out of the areas of potential hazard.

Many of people left homes without power days ago, only to end up at a gym with no electricity either.  However, they said it may not be where they want to be, but it's where they need to be.

Several of the evacuees are directly in the river's path and while they're safe at the shelter, their thoughts and prayers are on their homes.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved. WLBT in Jackson, MS contributed to this report.

Powered by WorldNow