U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opens Bonnet Carre Spillway

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opens Bonnet Carre Spillway
Source: Flickr Commons

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Mississippi River continues to rise at the Carrollton Gauge after gaining four feet of water in the last 10 days.

The Bonnet Carre Spillway will be opened to help reduce the flood risk downstream.

The Army Corps of Engineers is ready to open the spillway Thursday. Two cranes will be used to pull the wooden planks, or "needles" out of the bays.

Heavy rain and melting snow in the north is making its way down the Mississippi, which is leading to those high water levels.

The Corps said on average, the river is less than ten feet this time of year. Thursday morning the river was at 15.35 feet at the Carrollton Gauge and is still rising.

On Tuesday, the river is expected to crest right at 17 feet, which is the Corps' minor flood action stage.

The spillway is expected to stay open for two to four weeks.

This will be only the 12th time the Bonnet Carre Spillway has been opened in it's almost 90-year history.

The first time the spillway opened was in 1937, and the last time was just a couple of years ago in 2016.

Only eight of the 350 bays are expected to be opened Thursday.

The Corps says they'll monitor the water levels each day and open and shut the bays depending on what those readings are.

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