NEW ORLEANS – Water levels along the Mississippi River have dropped prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District to move from phase II to phase I flood fight procedures.
This flood fight began Jan. 9 when the Mississippi River rose above 11 feet at the Carrollton Gage, and on Jan. 27 phase II was initiated when the river exceeded 15 feet at the gage. Current forecasts show the river remaining above 11 feet at the Carrollton Gage throughout the next 28 days. However, the Corps will continue to monitor the river and forecasts closely and take appropriate measures if necessary.
Phase I flood fight consists of working with local levee authorities to closely monitor the levees along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers. Flood fight is a proactive measure to help ensure that the Army Corps can respond quickly to any problem areas that develop along the levee system because of the elevated water levels.
Additionally, heavy rain is forecast over the next several days. While localized rainfall has minimal impact on river elevations in the area, heavy runoff can impact levee conditions. Out of an abundance of caution, the Army Corps is taking proactive steps by covering areas with exposed clay, levee construction sites and the levee near Charenton on the Atchafalaya River to prevent damage from rainfall. These sites are continuously monitored as part of the flood fight inspections and will continue to perform as designed through this high water event.
Levee restrictions during high water
The Army Corps and State of Louisiana have established allowable distances for certain types of work that can adversely affect the integrity of the federal levees and structures. All work that may impact Mississippi River and Tributaries (MR&T) levees, which includes transport of heavy loads over the levee, disturbance of grass cover, or subsurface work within 1,500 feet of the levee, is prohibited when the Mississippi River is higher than 11 feet at the Carrollton Gage in New Orleans. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on many factors, including surrounding subsurface ground conditions.
Permit holders are advised to contact their local levee districts for detailed information regarding their projects and to monitor river stages and forecasts by calling 504-862-2461 or by visiting www.rivergages.com.
Release no. 20-007