Meridian, Miss. Workers are in the early stages of making repairs to the Long Creek Dam in Meridian.
An excavator is being used to stabilize the Long Creek Dam. Public works director Hugh Smith says this is only the first step in the process of repairing the dam.
"From the standpoint of seepage, from the standpoint of the possibility of having a catastrophic failure," Smith explains.
The lake may be somewhat dry now, but Smith says the city is in the final stages of preparing its breach plan with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. That should be done this Friday. Smith tells us that will allow the lake to rise by about two or three feet, making things look and seem more normal.
"From the standpoint of continued fishing and hopefully, we'll have a somewhat moderately wet winter with no incidents or issues," Smith hopes. "And we'll continue to seek to repair the dam."
Smith says there will be water in the lake until the city begins work on a permanent fix. However, funding for that has not yet been secured. You'll recall MDEQ ordered the city to take action where the dam is concerned because it says the dam poses a hazard to nearby properties.
"Administration's intent, and it was that way from day one, is to continue to make that area whole," Smith stresses. "To improve the recreational options at that area. Hence, getting it back up to what it used to be. But moving forward, I'm glad to say that no it will not be completely drained."
Lauderdale County supervisor Kyle Rutledge told us by phone that the Board of Supervisors is in the process of searching for funds to help the city.