Army Corps of Engineers works to prevent flooding in New Orleans

Army Corps of Engineers works to prevent flooding in New Orleans
Published: Dec. 31, 2015 at 12:51 AM CST|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:57 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Army Corps of Engineers opened the old river overbank structure Wednesday, about 50 miles northwest of Baton Rouge, in preparation for high water levels. Parts of Missouri are seeing catastrophic flooding.

Closer to home, the Corps is confident it can contain the river, so we won't have any major flooding here.

The images coming out of the Midwest are shocking. In Eureka, Missouri, a house, swept away by floodwaters, floats down the Meremec River. Across the Midwest, stories of survival.
"We were rescued at 9:00 this morning and stood in that water for about three hours," one flood victim said.

Another adds, "Our street once I got out, it was already flooded and I was like, I have to get out."

FOX 8 meteorologist Bruce Katz explains, "The problem is, the farther North you are, you don't have those structures that can kind of relieve some of the pressure and also some of the flow of the river. Now, when we get farther South towards Vicksburg and Angola and the areas where they just opened from the Atchafalaya, we have areas…that can kind of relieve the pressure."

That work by the Corps, coupled with the increased depth of the Mississippi River closer to New Orleans, is what Katz thinks will prevent this area from flooding.

"We will not have anything at all like we've seen up North with 15, 20 feet of water just covering buildings and homes and stuff like that," Katz commented.

The Corps says it's inspecting area levees on a daily basis. Some seepage has been detected but the levees are still in good shape. A spokesperson says the Corps is considering taking a drastic step next week, to prevent flooding.

Katz says, "They are willing to pull the pins on the Bonnet Carre spillway at any point if they have to and that is our savior."

It's a move that hasn't been made in four and a half years. But a necessary one if the river continues to rise, that will undoubtedly protect homes and businesses here.

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