Saturday, May 14, 2011

Morganza Spillway to be Opened

Probably today:
Rains in the Midwest have swollen the Mississippi River, and National Weather Service officials are predicting crests not seen since the Great Flood of 1927. Opening up Morganza would take pressure off river levees in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, but could send 5 to 25 feet of floodwater down steam to seven parishes, with some of the deepest waters near St. Francisville, west Terrebonne and Morgan City, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Terrebonne Sheriff Vernon Bourgeois said the corps told him as many as 17,000 structures and 4,500 people in Terrebonne could be in the path of floodwaters. Lafourche officials did not return phone calls Monday evening inquiring if they had similar numbers.
“We’re facing yet another historic challenge,” Jindal said Monday in a meeting with local officials at the Port of Morgan City. “Someone asked me, ‘How many once-in-a-lifetime events can we face?’ I’ve given up counting. But I know the people of Louisiana are resilient and we’re going to get through this.”
Col. Ed Fleming, commander of the New Orleans District of the Corps, asked the Mississippi River Commission for permission to open the Morganza spillway structure over the weekend. The Bonnet Carre spillway was opened Monday and will remain open for at least two weeks

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