Swirling spotted in Shreveport lake; whirlpool may be dangerous
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -
With the weather heating up, locals are on the cusp of swimming season. But one lake is putting a dangerous twist on taking a dip.
A whirlpool was caught on camera at Wallace Lake Dam in South Shreveport. A video of the dangerous funnel has triggered an investigation to ensure the safety of visitors.
"If you fall in there you might not get out water circling like that," said Jerry Gibbs says who was recently fishing at the lake.
Even on a Thursday afternoon, the dam is lined with people just like Gibbs, some who may have considered cooling off in the water until they saw the video.
"Got a lot of current right there, it'll suck you in. No, I wouldn't go swimming" another fisherman, Jesse Bergeron, said.
Louisiana's Wildlife and Fisheries Department said it's really dangerous to swim near dams. Wallace Lake, however, has no signs warning people of those dangers.
"If someone fell through that, it would pull them straight through the culvert," Wesley Walker, who works for the department.
The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers maintains the dam. After seeing the whirlpool, they plan on doing an investigation and may consider posting "no swimming" signs on the banks. They said this is the first they have heard of the spiraling water.
"The whirlpool you're seeing below Wallace is the culverts that they put underneath the concrete road that they put in that you can drive across when the water is low," Walker said.
In the video you can see the whirlpool dying out, leaving calm waters behind, camouflaging a potentially deadly funnel.
"Most all of these places have had drowning that I'm talking about and its always involved high water and the sucking undertow of the low-head dam pulling down to the bottom," Walker said.
So far, no drownings or accidents have been reported from the Wallace Lake dam. That isn't the case at other dams around the area. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department said there have been drownings at the Lake Bistineau spillway and the Caddo spillway. Both have extremely similar layouts to the Wallace Lake spillway.