Key Louisiana spillway opened
The Army Corps of Engineers opens the floodgates of the Morganza Spillway on Saturday.
May 14th, 2011
07:42 AM ET

Key Louisiana spillway opened

[Posted at 4:10 p.m. ET Saturday] The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Saturday afternoon opened the first of potentially several bays of the Morganza spillway, a flood-control structure along the Mississippi River about 115 miles northwest of Louisiana.

The move - which is likely to be followed by several other bays opening in the next few days - is intended to minimize damage in the region due to excessively high water levels in the river, even as it leads to flooding in the thousands of acres.
[Posted at 7:42 a.m. ET Saturday] The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers could open the Morganza Spillway as early as Saturday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said. The move would flood parts of low-lying southern Louisiana.

The Mississippi River Commission has directed the Corps to operate the crucial spillway once river flows reach a certain trigger: 1.5 million cubic feet per second. Projections indicate the tipping point could be hit as early as Saturday evening, Jindal has said.

Opening the spillway would lower anticipated cresting levels along the lower Mississippi River and divert water from Baton Rouge and New Orleans but would flood much of low-lying south-central Louisiana. Seven parishes are expected to be affected by the opening - Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia, Iberville, St. Mary and Terrebonne - according to the Corps.

Earlier this week, Jindal predicted that if the Morganza Spillway were to open, 3,900 people and 2,600 structures would be impacted by the high water.

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Filed under: Louisiana • Weather
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ikhan

    What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

    May 14, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Courtney

    Please correct your news coverage. The water from the Morganza Splillway IS NOT going towards New Orleans. It is going to flood the Morganza and the Atchafalaya Basin. This water is being DIVERTED from going to New Orleans. Is will flood others to save N.O., Baton Rouge and others.

    May 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Debbie

    Dear CNN,

    I have been watching your program for the past 30 minutes and am very upset with the anchor. He has done all he is capable of in scaring people away from New Orleans and burying this city. The flooding situation is indeed a concern but we have not flooded ... the Morganza spillway is not sending water to New Orleans and it is not inevitable that the levees are going to give way. What a downer he is. How about some responsible reporting on how the opening of the Morganza will likely keep New Orleans dry. How about a little optimism and positive reporting on what is being done to insure the city does not flood. We are a wonderful city that has beenth trough a lot and we surely do not need to be " virtually" flooded again by CNN .

    Debbie Landry

    May 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    Wasn't that the whole point of opening the spillway? To divert water from NO and BR?

    May 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Hagen

    I'm Hagen. I am a 36 year old man from Florida. And I wear women's underwear.

    May 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    Im Hagen im from florida and i was my daddys b!tch all my life

    May 14, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ellis from Panama

    Oh my, so much water. I guess it's time to wear my bikini and take a swim in Baton Rouge. I'm gay.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tiffany

    Don't some of you people comment on blogs or do you just normally act like an a**hole??

    May 15, 2011 at 5:54 am | Report abuse |

    it's like some one flushed a big toilet...

    May 15, 2011 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  10. Tiffany

    Who wants me? I'm a hot 22 year old college girl from the Midwest.

    May 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goat herder

      I want you Tiffany! Hope you like goats.

      May 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Observer1290

    Is Obama a liar or just criminally insane?

    May 30, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
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