Army Corps of Engineers to open Bonnet Carre Spillway


FILE – In a Friday, May 10, 2019 file photo, workers open bays of the Bonnet Carre Spillway, to divert rising water from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain, upriver from New Orleans, in Norco, La. The Army Corps of Engineers expects to begin closing the Bonnet Carré Spillway north of New Orleans sometime in the second or third week of July. The corps began opening the Bonnet Carré Spillway on May 10 to relieve stress on levees protecting New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (KLFY) — Heavy rain in the Mississippi Valley and rising Mississippi River water stages are prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to open the Bonnet Carré Spillway Friday, April 3. In doing so, they hope to keep the volume of Mississippi River flows at New Orleans from exceeding 1.25 million cubic feet per second (cfs).

Current forecasts say the opening could last three to four weeks. However, duration of the opening will be dictated by actual conditions.

Operation of the spillway will relieve pressure on mainline levees, maintain river stages, and regulate the flow downriver.

Maj. Gen. Mark Toy, Commanding General of the Mississippi Valley Division, made the decision earlier today to open Bonnet Carré.

“In the Mississippi Valley Division, our priority is taking care of people,” said Toy. “When we operate the spillway, we do everything we can to help mitigate the impacts. And, the decision to do so is not taken lightly. By operating the Bonnet Carré Spillway, we can safely pass these high waters and ultimately keep people safe.”

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