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)

    the spillway might open.. or it might not..

    in other news.. there is a 50/50 chance of rain...

    May 14, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  2. nur amabo nur

    "STRUCTURES" !!! 3 nuclear power plants and 1 oil refinery to be flooded .

    May 14, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy

    Preventing flooding of BR and NO were the reasons the spillways were created, no?

    I just hope Louisiana has some kind of financial plan to help the people that the opening of the spillway displaces.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |

    why cant we build a big 'alsaka pipe line ' type tube that could pump the water to the desert or to california?

    even a 24" diameter pipe could provide a ton of water...

    May 14, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. nur amabo nur

    Good thing that nothing bad could possibly happen at a flooded nuclear plant or oil refinery. Glad I don't live in La. Anymore.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |

    I HOPE IT DOESN'T AFFECT the swamp loggers... "oh ho.. i done run over my house" i love that guy..

    May 14, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Details

    I like the water pipeline idea.

    But it is apparently more "logical" to spend billions fighting "winless" wars against terrorists, invading the middle east, putting our soldiers lives at risk and seizing control of all the oil we can. I mean, it's only for the good of our country to do these things....

    May 14, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  8. boohoo

    Let em eat mudbugs. .oh wait they do! tasty they are

    May 14, 2011 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. banasy

    I am sure there is a plan in place to prevent the Nuclear plant from being affected.

    Well, hopeful, anyway.

    May 14, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dale

    I ate a whole package of chcolate cookies and a ton of coke. CNN, can one of your people do a piece on binge eating. Who is banasy. Are you you a boy or a girl. How old are you. What do you look like. I'm 33 and look average. Well ok a bit above he he.

    May 14, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  11. Details

    Dale = Fail

    May 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Dale

    Dale = Greatness

    May 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |

    ruffnutt = elf slayer & awesome..

    May 14, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Richard

    RuffNutt = Big Bad Papa Troll

    May 14, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |

    richard = d.i.c.k..... lol i never understood why they come up with that as a nick name for richard...

    May 14, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
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