NORCO, LA (WVUE) - The Army Corps of Engineers opened a bay on the Bonnet Carre Spillway Thursday morning as part of a practice exercise.
The Corps tested the spillway because the river level is at 14 feet in New Orleans.
"When the river is at this level it gives us a more realistic picture feel of what it's like to open the spillway when there is water up against it, other times of the year we pull the pins but there's not as much water against it if any because the river is lower. With the river higher like this, this gives the operators over there a really good feel of what it would be like to actually pull the pins and see what it's like in a high water condition," said Rene Poche with the Corps.
The crew was able to remove 20 needles from a single bay in less than an hour as they continue their annual practice at the spillway. Right now the Corps is in Flood Fight Phase One, which triggers when the river reaches a certain level.
"Phase one is when the river gets above 11 feet in the New Orleans district at the Carrollton gauge, and about twice a week we start with inspections along the river. The Corps of Engineers and local levee districts and the public too they have an interest in this. Right now we have about 14.5 feet, and that's why you see a little more water out there. The next trigger for us will be 15 feet at the Carrollton gauge, where we go to Phase 2 of the flood fight, and that is a daily inspection of the system from Baton Rouge down to New Orleans," Poche said.