Morganza Spillway is Opened
For more visit http://www.pbs.org/newshour On Friday, May 13, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made the decision to open the Morganza Floodway. The trigger to operate the floodway is when river flows reach a level of 1.5 million cubic feet per second at Red River Landing and are projected to continue rising. It will be a slow opening. Operation of the structure would relieve pressure on local levees, lower the river stage, and reduce the velocity of the river current below Point Coupee. Given current flow rate predictions, which are subject to change, the Corps is anticipating opening the floodway to allow for up to 150,000 cfs of water to pass through the structure at peak flow. The spillway will remain open until the river flow falls below 1.5 million cfs and is projected to continue decreasing. The Morganza Floodway is located 310 river miles above New Orleans on the west bank of the river in Pointe Coupee Parish. Intended to operate during emergency flooding, the purpose of the Floodway is to divert excess floodwater from the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya Basin. It was constructed in and has only been operated once, in 1973, to relieve pressure on the Low Sill Structure at the Old River Control Structure.