UPDATE - DOTD provides update on Vernon Lake Dam
Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 4:59:27 PM

UPDATE - DOTD provides update on Vernon Lake Dam

(UPDATE 11/29/2023): DOTD advises the public that the damaged parts have been replaced.

DOTD personnel were able to successfully reinstall the operating mechanism for the Vernon Lake management gate, and the front gate structure is now closed.

Original notice (11/15/2023):

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development today provided an update on repairs to the Vernon Lake Dam in Vernon Parish.

Vernon Lake Dam operates with a double gate management system, with the rear gate providing redundancy for emergency closures. It is typical and necessary to close only one gate when the lake is not in a drawdown period. During the last closure, the rear gate was closed.

While operating the front gate at the dam structure in August, the hoisting mechanism began to malfunction. Subsequent damage to the gate hoisting components was discovered. The front gate was kept in the open position in order to allow for water management utilizing the rear gate.

Since that time, efforts have been underway to repair the mechanism and other components, a process that has proven to be somewhat lengthy due to the specific nature of the parts and the availability of a supplier.

However, DOTD has identified a supplier and the necessary parts have been ordered to repair the front gate, which in total, is anticipated to take approximately one month.

Once the front gate is repaired, it will also be closed. That will allow DOTD to assess the structure for any further repairs that may be necessary to the rear gate as well, which is currently allowing a nominal amount of water to flow through the management structure.

It’s important to keep in mind that water levels at all regional lakes are below pool stage due to the extreme drought conditions that have impacted our state. Vernon Lake is no exception, and is currently approximately 2.5 feet below pool stage.

Further updates will be issued when additional information becomes available.