Dam at Lake Bella Vista fails following heavy rain in Benton County

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As a result of recent rains, the dam at Lake Bella Vista, part of the Bentonville City park system, has suffered an additional failure, according to a release sent out by the city of Bentonville.

Floodwaters have washed out a new area, around fifty feet in width, west of the east spillway. The city says there does not appear to be any other new damage to the dam structure.

The dam was first damaged during flooding in 2008 and has suffered additional flood damage since that time. Because of the previous damage, the west flood gates were removed to avoid impounding a large amount of water.

The city says the damage in the last couple of days was not the result of an effort to impound water, but the result of flooding from recent storms and the overall condition of the remaining structure of the original dam.

Because the flood water has not subsided, the city has not completed a full evaluation of the damage. The city says it is in contact with appropriate agencies about the new failure at the dam site and how to respond.

Lake Bella Vista Park is closed at this time. Citizens should be conscious of the dangerous nature of the floodwater at the park as well as anywhere else they encounter flooding.

The city says a court case concerning its options on removing the dam and how the area will be developed as a park going forward remains pending.

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