Firefighters drain 450,000 gallons of water from Lake Columbia

Firefighters drain 450,000 gallons of water from Lake Columbia

COLUMBIA, MS (WDAM) - Firefighters from five different Marion County fire departments worked with personnel from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Wednesday night to drain about 450,000 gallons of water from Lake Columbia.

It was a four-hour operation and according to lake manager Dustin Brumfield, it was done as a precautionary measure to release pressure on the lake's dam.

He said the dam was in no immediate danger and water never flowed over it.

He did say, however, because of heavy rains and water shed drainage, the 80-acre lake had risen almost 10 inches in a 10-hour period Wednesday.

"There's about 800 acres behind (the lake) that's a water shed and that's what really concerned management, so they called us in to pump the water off," said Cecil Nickey, chief of the Pine Burr Volunteer Fire Department. His department was among those taking part in the operation. Others included Tri-Community Volunteer Fire Department, the Columbia Fire Department, South Marion Volunteer Fire Department and Southwest Marion Volunteer Fire Department. "(The water is) a little bit high yet, but it's draining off by itself good and I believe it will be alright, provided we don't get any heavy rains," Nickey said.

Brumfield said the operation lowered the water level a couple of inches.

The lake was built in 1954.

Its deepest point is about 17 feet.