Lake Bennett Flood 2017
Runoff from ten inches of rain plunged into Lake Bennett in the Spring of 2017. The lake rose faster than the two 80 foot wide spillways could handle. With nowhere to go, the lake topped the historic dam, washing away nearly everything behind it. Depicted above and below is the aftermath from the event. Water is also flowing through the dam. This has occurred since the dam was constructed. Archival reports describe a flow of three cubic feet per second of water coming through the dam in 1939 when the level of the dam was raised three feet and the spillways were lowered. Follow this link to see a short video including NRCS and Conservation District employees speaking about the history of Lake Bennett and the measures used to protect the dam after the 2017 flood: History of Lake Bennett.
Emergency Watershed Program Repairs
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism matched funding from the Emergency Watershed Protection Program (EWP) to repair the dam. The EWP program is administered by the NRCS. Engineers from the NRCS designed a new back fill system that was completed in 2019. Follow this link to see a short video about the dam, its repairs, and the EWP program: Lake Bennett EWP.