VIDEO ALERT: The Barge has arrived on the Bayou Chene in response to Morganza Spillway opening


NEW ORLEANS — As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prepares to open the Morganza Spillway as early as June 2, crews are working to sink a barge to prevent backwater flooding.

Last week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards authorized $7.4 million to sink a barge to act as a temporary floodgate to protect 

The floodgate should stop backwater flooding from entering Assumption, St. Martin, St. Mary parishes as well as northwestern Terrebonne Parish.

The Corps has the approval to open the Morganza Spillway, and if rain in the Arkansas and Missouri river valleys meets current forecasts, the operation will begin on June 2.

That process would divert approximately 150,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) from the Mississippi River into the Morganza Floodway to avoid water from overtopping the structure.

Officials tell The Advocate they expect to release less water this year than the last time the spillway was opened in 2011. But they stress with more rain falling north in the Mississippi River basin, their calculations could change.

The spillway was built in 1954 and has been opened just twice before.

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