INVESTIGATORS ARE COLLECTING evidence to discover why the Big Bay Lake dam recently breached, releasing 3.5B gallons of water through roads and homes in southwest Mississippi, US.
The investigations follow news that an engineer working for the owners of the manmade, 445.17ha reservoir had investigated a leak in the dam prior to its failure.
The flood created by the breach damaged or destroyed 78 homes, reducing some to rubble, and lifted cars and trucks into treetops in Marion and Lamar counties. No deaths or injuries have been reported. Officials and residents credited the lack of fatalities to an emergency evacuation plan initiated at the time of the dam breach.
The state of Mississippi has 3700 earthen dams, with 270 of them considered to be in the high hazard category. The Big Bay Lake dam was one of the state’s 270 high-hazard dams, according to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality officials.