Army Corps: Opening of Morganza spillway not required

Army Corps: Opening of Morganza spillway not required

MORGANZA, LA (WAFB) - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that they do not anticipate opening the Morganza Spillway to help with the rising water on the Mississippi River.

"The Mississippi River and Tributaries project allows the Corps to undertake an MR&T systems approach to managing Mississippi River high-water events," said Maj. Gen. Michael Wehr, commanding general, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division. "The latest information indicates that the river crest can be safely passed through South Louisiana without operation of the Morganza Control Structure."

In order to open the Morganza Spillway, water must reach a height of 57 feet and flow at a rate of 1.5 million cubic feet per second.

According to the Corps, the river will reach 57 feet on Friday, January 15, but the flow rate is projected to peak at 1.44 million cubic feet per second on Sunday, January 17.

The Corps said that though the opening of the Morganza is not required at the moment, the Atchafalaya Basin is still likely to go through a significant high-water. The water levels for the basin are projected to reach 20 feet in Butte LaRose around Sunday, January 17 and 8 feet in Morgan City around Thursday, January 21.

The Bonnet Carre Spillway will remain open until the flow rate of the water goes below 1.35 million cubic feet per second in the greater New Orleans area.

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