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Hurricane Isaac causing concern for Mississippi dam

Heavy rainfall from Hurricane Isaac is threatening the Lake Tangipahoa Dam in southern Mississippi, causing officials from both Mississippi and Louisiana to evacuate areas near it.

The Lake Tangipahoa is located in Mississippi's Percy Quin State Park, and though the state's Department of Environmental Quality is hoping to relieve pressure on the dam by pumping water over it into the surrounding agricultural areas, McComb, Miss., Mayor Whitney Rawlings said there is still a 50% chance that it could fail.

Such a failure would cause flooding along the Tangipahoa River, though Mississippi officials have said they doubt the volume of water in the lake would cause catastrophic flooding.

Still, Mississippi's Emergency Management Agency has ordered all low-lying areas along the river to be evacuated.

Louisiana's Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has followed suit, ordering evacuations on the Louisiana side downstream from the dam as well.

Officials from both states are hoping that controlled releases from the 700-acre lake will also help alleviate pressure on some levees.


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