Louisiana Opens Spillway To Avert Mississippi River Flooding Disaster
So the Flood gates have opened!!!! They opened the Morganza Spillway today to give some relief to the Mississippi River.
A steel, 10-ton floodgate was slowly raised Saturday for the first time in nearly four decades, unleashing a torrent of water from the Mississippi River, away from heavily populated areas downstream.
The water spit out slowly at first, then began gushing like a waterfall as it headed to swamp as much as 3,000 square miles of Cajun countryside known for small farms and fish camps. Some places could wind up under as much as 25 feet of water.
Opening the Morganza spillway diverts water away from Baton Rouge and New Orleans, and the numerous oil refineries and chemical plants along the lower reaches of the Mississippi.
"We're using every flood control tool we have in the system," Army Corps of Engineers Maj. Gen. Michael Walsh said Saturday from the dry side of the spillway, before the bay was opened. The podium Walsh was standing at was expected to be under several feet of water Sunday.
The Morganza spillway is part of a system of locks and levees built following the great flood of 1927. When it opened, it was the first time three flood-control systems have been unlocked at the same time along the Mississippi River.
May 14: The Morganza Spillway, center, which allows water from the Mississippi River to divert into the Atchafalaya Basin, is seen from the air in Morganza, La. In an agonizing trade-off, Army engineers said they will open a key spillway along the bulging Mississippi River and inundate thousands of homes and farms in parts of Louisiana's Cajun country to avert a potentially bigger disaster in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
Flood Threat Along the Mississippi River
As the Mississippi River swells, areas along the river, stretching from Illinois to Louisiana, face severe flooding. Emergency workers try to protect small towns, farms and urban areas.
Earlier this month, the corps intentionally blew holes into a levee in Missouri to employ a similar cities-first strategy, and it also opened the Bonnet Carre spillway northwest of New Orleans to send water into the massive Lake Ponchatrain.
Snowmelt and heavy rain have been blamed for inflating the Mississippi, and the rising river levels have shattered records all set 70 years ago.
About 25,000 people and 11,000 structures could be in harm's way.
Do you think this was the right move????