bonnet carré spillway

Travis Lux / WWNO

The commercial fishing industry on the Gulf Coast has seen two major disasters in the last 15 years: Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Now, some fear we’re on the cusp of a third. The culprit: historic flooding from the Mississippi River.

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Though the official decision will not be made until next week, the Army Corps of Engineers expects to open the Morganza Spillway as soon as June 2nd.

Located upriver from Baton Rouge, the Spillway has only been used twice before: during the floods of 1973 and 2011.

 

Whereas the Bonnet Carre Spillway relieves pressure on the Mississippi River by diverting excess water into Lake Pontchartrain, Morganza eventually empties into the Atchafalaya Basin.

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.

Travis Lux / WWNO

Heavy rains in the Midwest have caused the Mississippi River to swell. To relieve pressure on local levees, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin operating the Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco on Wednesday.

The levees near New Orleans are only built to handle water moving at 1.25 million cubic feet per second -- quick enough to fill the Superdome in about a minute, the Corps estimates. When the river gets going that fast the Corps opens the spillway, diverting some of that water into Lake Pontchartrain.

Travis Lux / WWNO

When the Mississippi River flooded this spring, tons of water gushed through the Bonnet Carré Spillway, and into Lake Pontchartrain. The spillway is a big swath of open land, and it relieves the swollen river.

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.

Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Mississippi River remains high as floodwater makes its way south from the Midwest, and the Army Corps of Engineers is inspecting the levees daily for problems like leaks.

 

The Corps started inspecting the river about two weeks ago, as the water began to rise.

After opening up the Bonnet Carre Spillway upriver of New Orleans on Sunday the Army Corps of Engineers has decided it won’t need to open the Morganza Spillway. The Corps issued a statement Monday, saying that based on current forecasts it won’t be necessary in order to relieve the swollen Mississippi River.

The Army Corps of Engineers used small cranes to slowly begin opening up the Bonnet Carre Spillway.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Bonnet Carré Spillway Sunday morning in order to relieve the swollen Mississippi River and prevent flooding in New Orleans.

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