Bonnet Carre Spillway likely will be opened

Bonnet Carre Spillway likely will be opened

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The Army Corps of Engineers will announce Monday whether or not the Bonnet Carre Spillway will be opened.

As the corps keep their eye on the rising river, they say it’s likely the flood control structure could open for the first time in back-to-back years.

In the last 24 hours, The Mississippi River has crept up a little over a third of a foot, and is expected to keep rising into the week.

As of Monday, the Carrollton gage reads just more than 15 and one-third foot.

The official flood stage of the river in the area is 17 feet, and the Army Corps of Engineers would likely open the spillway before the river hits that stage.

The corps think that could happen midweek as they attempt to provide some relief to the swollen river.

If the river control structure is opened, it would happen bay-by-bay to control the flow of the river.

This would mark the third time in four years that the corps had to operate the spillway.

The recent frequency of the openings is something the corps are tracking.

“We are seeing high flows. We’re seeing it more frequently," said Ricky Boyett with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. " We don’t know if it’s cyclical.”

The river is expected to rise another third of a foot in the next 24 hours.

While flood stage for the river is 17 feet, levees protect residents up to at least 21 feet. The corps does not think it will get that high, especially with relief from the spillway.

The corps will announce whether they will open the spillway in a news conference Monday afternoon.

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