Army Corps of Engineers

Parts of the Mississppi River levee system are at risk of overtopping due to storm surge from Tropical Storm Barry.
United States Army Corps of Engineers

A few sections of levee along the Mississippi River are at risk of being overtopped in Southeast Louisiana. The reason: storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico. WWNO's Travis Lux spoke with Ricky Boyett from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about why this is happening and which areas are the most at risk. 

CPRA

Local officials hope a major levee project along the central Louisiana coast is one step closer to receiving federal funding.

Morganza to the Gulf is a 98-mile levee project that, if completed, would curl around several communities and protect them from hurricane storm surges. It’s one of the biggest and most expensive projects in Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers has delayed the opening of the Morganza Flood Control Structure for a second time.

The Corps was originally set to begin opening the structure on Sunday, June 2nd, but later postponed until Thursday, June 6th. Now the Corps is aiming for Sunday, June 9th.

Officials say changing river forecasts are responsible for both delays. The river is not expected to reach the trigger point for operation until a few days later.

Tegan Wendland

When Hurricane Katrina hit, the levees failed in the Lower Ninth Ward, flooding thousands. Residents blamed the Army Corps of Engineers. Now, the Corps is working to expand the Inner Harbor Navigational Canal, a project that has been in the works for years, and many residents are opposed to it.

 

 

 

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers expects to open the Bonnet Carre Spillway Friday afternoon.

Located upriver from New Orleans, the Bonnet Carre Spillway acts as a release valve for the Mississippi River. When the water reaches a flow of 1.25 million cubic feet per second, the Corps opens the spillway to divert some of that water into Lake Pontchartrain.

Army Corp of Engineers

The levees that protect New Orleans are sinking, just as officials knew they would. The Army Corps is doing a study to figure out what repairs are needed. On Tuesday the agency held several public meetings on the process.

The Corps and local levee authorities built a $14 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) around the city after Hurricane Katrina. Because of the soft soil the levees were built on, they’re naturally sinking. Sea level rise also poses a risk.

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway to a big crowd Thursday morning, in order to relieve pressure on Mississippi River levees downstream.

 

The Army Corps estimates 500-600 people showed up to watch the Corps open the Spillway. Katie Huffaker drove all the way from Houma. She homeschools her kids and thought it would make for a good lesson in geography.  

Travis Lux / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers will open the Bonnet Carré Spillway on Thursday to prevent river flooding near New Orleans.

 

The Mississippi River is rising, as floodwater from the Midwest makes its way south.

Travis Lux / WWNO

More than 20,000 scientists from around the world came to New Orleans this week for the American Geophysical Union conference. From minerals and volcanoes to oceans, space, and climate change -- they presented all kinds of research.

 

Sara Sneath from Nola.com/The Times-Picayune was there. So was WWNO’s Travis Lux. This week on the Coastal News Roundup, they met up at the conference to talk about the latest in coastal research.

The St. Claude Street Bridge raises as a barge passes beneath it.
Thomas Walsh / WWNO

Southeastern Louisiana relies on federal funds to keep it a viable place to live. That means constant construction; roads, levees, and the latest project, a $951 million dollar plan to widen the Industrial Canal. The Army Corps of Engineers has reached out to the surrounding communities for input and the proposal is wildly unpopular. The Listening Post wanted to hear both sides of the debate. 

The Listening Post asked:

1) What kind of input should communities have on federal projects like these?

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