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Supervisors Concerned Already Damaged Dam Could Collapse

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

Audobon Dam eroded and threatened to break through after heaving rains last week. However, with more rain coming, county officials are worried more damage could be done.
Photos by Alyssa Schnugg

With more rain in the forecast, the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors met Wednesday morning for an emergency meeting to discuss the damaged Audubon dam.

The dam, located in Audubon subdivision, adjacent to the Northpointe subdivision, eroded after more than 11 inches of rain fell in Lafayette County Friday and Saturday, causing a huge hole that was – and still is – in imminent danger of collapsing.

The dam is owned by the Audubon homeowners association.

Emergency Management Director Steve Quarles said steps were taken Saturday to reduce the water level in the dam, however, more rain is expected to start this afternoon through Sunday.

“There are no houses in danger of flooding right now,” said Supervisor Jeff Busby.

The danger, according to County Engineer Larry Britt, is the damn failing completely with the coming rain which would cause water to go under a private road and blow out the lift station there which could cause sewage to leak out onto the ground and into the streams.

County Building Official Joel Hollowell said the homeowners association can’t afford to make the immediate emergency repairs before the rains move in later today.

The supervisors agreed to spend about $1,000 to allow county road crews to shore up the dam.

“We are not completely repairing the dam,” Busby said. “We are just getting it to a safe level so the homeowners’ association can repair it.”

To allow county crews to make the emergency repairs, the supervisors needed to find there is a public health and safety risk so crews could go on private property and adopted a proclamation of an “existence of a local emergency commencing at 5 a.m. on Feb. 22, 2019.”

The board also approved adopted a resolution requesting that Gov. Phil Bryant proclaims a state of emergency for Lafayette County due to the damaged roads and structures during the heavy rains last week.

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