Three meetings of the Quail Creek Dike Technical Review Board, scheduled for St. George next week, will be closed to the public.

The independent board has been studying the cause of the Jan. 1 dike failure that flooded downstream areas of Washington County, causing an estimated $12 million in damages. Originally the board intended to meet secretly, but following media protests, state officials relented and said the meetings would be open to the public.However, the schedule for next week's meetings shows that the board intends to deliberate in private. A spokeswoman for the Utah Department of Natural Resources said the indoor sessions will be held in the St. George Holiday Inn. The team also is expected to tour the dike area.

"All fact-finding sessions are open to the press and the public," said Fran Craigle of the Natural Resources Department.

The meetings will be held Feb. 5 through 8. The first four meetings are labeled fact-finding and open to the public. They start at 8 a.m. Sunday, 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday and 8 a.m. Tuesday.

But the last three - starting 1 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday - are all labeled "private."

The 1 p.m. Tuesday meeting is so that panel members can review test data. The next meetings are for "panel member reports" and "panel deliberations."