Opening of Morganza Spillway’s impact on local economy

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Dr. Gary Kinsland, Professor of Geology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said the opening of the Morganza Spillway will affect the economy, specifically farmers, in the path of the Morganza’s floodways.

Dr. Kinsland says those residents who live in the Morganza floodway have been paid for their flood rights.

“They have been paid for this environmental access, and they know that if they plan to crop up there now, or they have livestock there or their house or their equipment, that if it gets flooded, they cannot come back against the Army Corps of Engineers, the United States, or the State of Louisiana, for doing it because they sold out that right,” added Dr. Kinsland.

How will the spillway’s opening impact the economy?

“Well, it has to have some (impact) because there will be crops that will not be made this year,” he said. He said impacted farmers will receive some funding from Federal Crop Insurance. 

The Morganza Spillway was built in 1954 but wasn’t opened until 1973 for the first time. In 2011, it was opened for a second time.

“That was a necessity to protect the structure that lets water into the Atchafalaya from the Mississippi because it was failing and then again in 2011,” said Dr. Kinsland.

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