Lake Tangipahoa at Percy Quin Park is flooding. Its spillways are working, but nearly 10 inches of rain from Hurricane Isaac created two slides on the side of the dam.
"You don't have as much earth there to keep the water back, essentially and so that's a real threat," says Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality Dam Safety Engineer Dusty Myers.
Louisiana National Guard helicopters are placing boulders on the dam to help ensure it doesn't fail. The Mississippi National Guard is also on the scene with bulldozers and trackhoes.
A breech is scheduled to begin Friday and could continue into Saturday.
"We'll remove some of the roadway and allow some of the pressure of the high water to simply go into the fields, lowering the threat," explained Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at a Thursday press conference.
"We want to control that. We don't want to open up a breech and cause more problems that we do good. So, we have to take our time and do that, and depends on how much rain fall we get coming in and I think the lake level has pretty much stabilized now," explains Myers.
Pumps are also being used to take water out of the Pike County lake, which could breech at any moment.
Bryant says he has talked to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal about the dam. Precautions are being taken to protect residents downstream from the 700 acre lake and near the Tangipahoa River should the dam fail.
"Our immediate flood plain would help control that flow. It would not be a wall of water moving toward Tangipahoa parish in Louisiana. As it moved under the bridge, it would then dissipate within the low lying areas that we have designed in Mississippi," explained Bryant.
About 20 nearby homeowners were strongly advised to leave until the controlled breech was completed sometime Sunday. Pike County EMA says some residents did leave their homes.
Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:56 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:56:12 GMT
The body of a missing Portland woman has been found in Hawaii. A medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has notMore >
The medical examiner's office in Hawaii confirmed Tuesday the body of Ivanice Harris was found near Yokohama Bay. A cause of death has not yet been determined.More >
Tuesday, May 21 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-21 23:16:48 GMT
MOORE, OK - The Oklahoma County Sheriff's office tweeted a photo of a frightened, muddy dog Monday after the deadly EF-5 tornado ripped through the town.The comment accompanying the photo said, "scared,More >
A heartbreaking photo of a little dog guarding the body of his owner, who was killed in the Moore, OK, tornado, is going viral.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 1:25 AM EDT2013-05-22 05:25:22 GMT
Fluoride in PortlandPortland voters are deciding Tuesday what kind of water will be coming out of the tap. They're voting between fluoride or no fluoride in the city's drinking water. The first batch ofMore >
Portland voters are deciding Tuesday what kind of water will be coming out of the tap. They're voting between fluoride or no fluoride in the city's drinking water.More >
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:28 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:28:17 GMT
The man held responsible for a deadly shooting outside of a southeast Portland sports bar was sentenced to 36 years behind bars. A judge handed down the sentence for Vorladeth Souvannachoumkham today in court. AMore >
The man held responsible for a deadly shooting outside of a southeast Portland sports bar was sentenced to 36 years behind bars.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department. More >
An Oregon girl abducted as a baby and missing for 18 years finally emerged in Dallas this week when her mother turned herself in to authorities, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Department.More >