NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Army Corps of Engineers moved into Phase Two of flood-fighting plan Wednesday as the Mississippi River rose another 6 inches.
The Corps will examine the possibility of opening the Morganza Spillway to divert water from the swollen river into the Atchafalaya Basin.
The Coast Guard has restrictions in place, but the port is open for business. They are more closely monitoring a tracking station across from Algiers Point.
We went out on the Port of New Orleans fire boat General Roy Kelley, where in several locations we were jostled by choppy eddies and wave action. The Coast Guard is worried about breakaway barges in the swirling river. They are limiting the size of tows and asking for extra lines to secure them.
"It probably is running twice as fast as normal. It's usually around 4 knots, but with this high river condition approaching 15 feet, it's running pretty good," said Habor Police Capt. John Couste.
"Under normal conditions, the Mississippi River is difficult, but with this higher water we've got eddies, and navigation is extremely difficult. We advise recreational mariners to avoid the river during this high water situation," said Coast Guard Capt. Wayne Arguin.
Port officials wrapped up a meeting Wednesday evening with the Corps. We were told that no firm decision has been made, but they are leaning toward opening the spillway on Saturday to bleed off some of the volume of the treacherous river.
They will base that decision on the volume of water moving past Norco.