MORGANZA, La. (WAFB) - The opening of the Morganza Control Structure, originally scheduled for Sunday, June 2, has been postponed until June 6. Officials say water levels have fallen enough not to warrant an opening as soon as originally anticipated.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to open the Morganza Floodway because forecasts indicate river elevations could overtop the control structure.
The Corps says the river is predicted to reach 60 feet at the control structure June 9 rather than the previously forecasted June 5. The Corps says they only intend to operate the spillway when needed so as to not put additional water into the Atchafalaya Basin.
Chip Kline, Chairman of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, says it’s unlikely that the June 6 opening day will be pushed back any further.
There will be a “slow opening” process to limit water accumulation in the floodway, officials say. The planned opening is just the third in history. The last was in 2011.
The opening of the Morganza Control Structure will divert water from the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya.
The opening of the spillway is not open to the public to ensure safety and security. LA 1 from the guide levee south of the spillway to the guide levee north of the spillway will be closed by Louisiana State Police the morning of the opening at 10 a.m. and should be reopened by 5 p.m.