BREAKING NEWS: Morganza Spillway to Open May 14

Louisiana will open the Morganza Spillway on May 14 in an effort to avert rising Mississippi River floodwaters

ALEXANDRIA, La, May13, 2011 — BREAKING NEWS: Louisiana’s Governor Jindal, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and other elected officials recently announced that the Morganza Spillway will open sometime during the day on Saturday, May 14, 2011.

The Morganza Spillway, center, which allows water from the Mississippi River to divert into the Atchafalaya Basin when opened, is seen from the air in Morganza, La., Monday, May 9, 2011. The Army Corps of Engineers has asked the Mississippi River Commission for permission to open the spillway to help alleviate pressure on river levees. (Image : Associated Press)

The Morganza Spillway, center, which allows water from the Mississippi River to divert into the Atchafalaya Basin when opened, is seen from the air in Morganza, La., Monday, May 9, 2011. The Army Corps of Engineers has asked the Mississippi River Commission for permission to open the spillway to help alleviate pressure on river levees. (Image : Associated Press)

Opening the Morganza spillway will divert waters from the Mississippi River and hopefully reduce levee pressure. When the spillway opens, estimates are that some Louisiana cities and towns could see water levels rise up to 25 feet.

The “trigger” for the spillway opening will be when the flow reaches 1.5 million cubic feet per second at Louisiana’s Red River Landing, which is expected to happen on Saturday, May 14. 

Information from Governor Jindal’s office indicated that rising waters levels could affect some 11,000 structures.

Currently, parish officials and volunteers are in the process of going door-to-door, checking to make sure that affected individuals know that the spillway will be opened and have the chance to evacuate.  Once the gates open, thousands of acres of farmland will be flooded.

The purpose of opening the additional spillway is to take pressure off the levees, plus divert water that could flood Baton Rouge, New Orleans and other cities and towns along the Mississippi River.  If the spillways don’t take pressure off the levees, there is a very real possibility that breaks could occur, and catastrophic flooding could result, on an unprecedented scale.

Citizens are also being warned to watch for wildlife that will try to move to higher ground once the water begins to pass through the spillway. Should problems arise, individuals are being asked, if it is at all possible, to avoid any interaction with the wildlife, and instead contact their local LA Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries office.  

A line of Hesco baskets runs along the top of a levee past Louisiana National Guardsmen in Morgan City, La., Thursday, May 12, 2011. Guardsmen were deployed to top off local levees with the sand-filled baskets in advance of possible flooding if the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge is opened. (Image: Associated Pre

A line of Hesco baskets runs along the top of a levee past Louisiana National Guardsmen in Morgan City, La., Thursday, May 12, 2011. Guardsmen were deployed to top off local levees with the sand-filled baskets in advance of possible flooding if the Morganza Spillway north of Baton Rouge is opened. (Image: Associated Press)

Here’s a list of helpful links you may want to check:

Out and About Louisiana will continue adding information to this article as it becomes available.  Please check back for future developments.

Carla is the author of four published suspense novels, and her latest book,  Artful Misdirection, is currently available in Kindle format on Amazon.com. Read more of her work at Out and About Louisiana http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/out-and-about-louisiana/  in the Washington Times Communities.

 


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Carla Ledbetter

Carla Ledbetter has three published suspense novels under the name C D Ledbetter and is a contributing author to several short story anthologies.  In addition, she currently serves as the Director of Web Content for Cenla Advantage Partnership, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building prosperity in Central Louisiana, funded in part by The Rapides Foundation.

 

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