Big Bay Lake ER

Rural Lamar County, MS - Region IV

Site Contact:

Dean Ullock

Lamar County
Rural Lamar County, MS

At approx. 1230 hrs. on 03/12/04, an approx. 500 ' wide breach spanning the BIG BAY LAKE earthen dam, located in Lamar, Co., Mississippi released an estimated 13.5 billion gallons of water from an 1100 acre lake rushing into a 22 square mile area of rural, southern, Lamar County Mississippi. The raging flood waters completely destroyed or severely damaged approximately 78 homes. The surge, which at times, measured 30' tall, lifted cars, trucks and mobile homes into treetops. The ensuing flood stretched almost 15 miles towards the Pearl River in Marion Co. The flood zone was approximately 1/4 mi. wide. The lake completely drained in an estimated 3 hours. The State of Mississippi has declared a State of Emergency.

Under the Operations Section of the Unified Command Structure, the MSDEQ and USEPA, Mobile, AL outpost OSC, at the request of the MSDEQ, are currently directing environmental clean-up crews in the recovery of scattered hazardous materials which include various oils and chemicals. No heavy industry or large agricultural operations were impacted by this incident. No lives were lost and all residents have thus far been accounted for. Numerous livestock and domestic pets have been reported missing.

The Governor of Mississippi and the Director of the MEMA are expected to visit the area on 03/15/04.

For additional information, visit the Pollution Report (POLREPS) section.