Officials on Tuesday warned that the Oktibbeha County Lake Dam in eastern Mississippi is in imminent danger of failing and residents should be ready to evacuate.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a flash flood emergency in the Jackson metropolitan area and urged residents to seek higher ground.
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency also wrote that it is “encouraging residents who live near the Oktibbeha County Lake Dam to evacuate.”
It added: “After inspection, the County Engineer believe failure of the dam is imminent” and listed roads that will be closed in the event of a failure.
A Flash Flood Emergency has been issued for the Jackson Metro Area. Local officials have reported multiple swift water rescues ongoing or needed in the Downtown Jackson area. More rain is expected! pic.twitter.com/ESUqHXhzpk
— NWS Jackson MS (@NWSJacksonMS) January 14, 2020
Oktibbeha County is encouraging residents who live near the Oktibbeha County Lake Dam to evacuate. After inspection, the County Engineer believe failure of the dam is imminent. Listed below are the roads that will be closed in the event of a failure #mswx pic.twitter.com/bEZweJmWdf
— MSEMA (@MSEMA) January 14, 2020
County emergency management Director Kristen Campanella told CNN on Tuesday evening that the alert is at the warning level, and if it gets to the emergency level, evacuations would be ordered for locals.
The potential dam failure comes after rain fell at a rapid pace. “Several daily rainfall records have already been broken today,” the NWS Jackson office wrote.