Bentonville, AR……. As a result of the recent rains, the dam at Lake Bella Vista, part of the Bentonville City park system, has suffered an additional failure. Floodwaters have washed out a new area, approximately fifty foot in width, west of the east spillway. 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 that previous damage, the west flood gates were removed some time ago so as to avoid impounding a large amount of water. The damage occurring in the last couple of days was not the result of an effort to impound water, but the result of flooding from the recent significant rain event and the overall condition of the remaining structure of the original dam.
Because the flood water has not subsided, a full evaluation of the damage has not been completed at this time. The City is in contact with appropriate agencies about this new failure at the dam site and how to respond.
Lake Bella Vista Park is closed at this time, and citizens should be conscious of the dangerous nature of the floodwater at the park as well as anywhere else they encounter flooding.
A court case concerning the City’s options on removing the dam and how the area will be developed as a park going forward remains pending.