Army Corps of Engineers addressed spillway questions at Butte La Rose town meeting


The Army Corps of Engineers answered questions from concerned residents in Butte La Rose days before opening the Morganza Spillway.  

The Army Corps of Engineers will begin opening the spillway this weekend.

Approval for the plan was granted Monday. The plan is to open one bay per day for three days, starting Sunday and to open more on the fourth day.

The corps expects that about a quarter of the 125 bays will be open to prevent overtopping and relieve pressure from the swollen Mississippi River.

Our job is not to sanitize anything, our job is not to alarm anyone. Our job is share the facts, said Parish President Chester Cedars at the beginning of the town hall meeting. 
A large crowd of concerned residents brought their questions tonight, many regarding what happened the last time the spill way was opened in 2011. Eight years ago residents were told to expect more than ten feet of flood water, when the spillway was opened resident didn’t see the water they were told to prepare for. 
In 2011 there was an extreme drought so the amount of water that would have accumulated into the floodway did not occur because the ground was so dry it absorbed that water. This year the ground is very wet so you will see water accumulate, says Ricky Boyett the spokesman for The Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans Division. 

Opening the Morganza Spillway will bring water through the Atchafalaya Basin, down through Morgan City and out to the Gulf of Mexico. All government and law-enforcement agencies assured residents that they are doing everything they can to keep homes, businesses, and farmland safe. They are preparing for the worst but Cedars says, “I do not think it’s going to cause us to have to take any drastic measures.”

Pretty much I think if you didn’t get flooded out in 2011 you are going to be okay now. What they are saying just gave me a much better feeling about the whole situation, says Butte La Rose camp owner Scott Slaughter. 
The army corps of engineers says once the Morganza is open it will take several days for water to travel before residences see flooding. 

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