NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For the first time this year, there are no flood warnings on the southern Mississippi River, marking a historic 226-day span with the river in flood.
The gauge at Red River landing dropped below the minor flood stage of 48 feet at 8:00 a.m. Saturday, (Aug. 10) for the first time since last December. During that time, a number of milestones occurred, including the longest time for the Baton Rouge gauge to record flood levels at 211 days, outlasting the 135-day record in 1927.
The operation of the Bonnet Carre Spillway to manage flood waters down river also marked several firsts. It was the first time the system operated in back-to-back years when it was opened in February. Then, the gates were completely closed by April, but heavy rains in the northern and central Mississippi River Valley prompted the first time it would be opened a second time in the same year.
The second opening lasted 79 days, surpassing the record for the longest number of calendar days the spillway was continuously open, which was previously 75. The combined openings set a new benchmark for days open during the calendar year.
It was also the first time the spillway was deployed during a tropical event.
Hurricane Barry made landfall near Morgan City while the system continued to pour water into Lake Pontchartrain. A surge near one foot did effect the already high Carrollton river gauge, bringing the reading briefly to 16.93 feet before it settled back to near 16. Flood stage at the Carrollton gauge is 17 feet.