NEW ORLEANS –The Mississippi River at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans has risen above 11 feet, prompting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District to activate its Phase I flood fight procedures. Activation procedures consist of working with local levee authorities to closely monitor the levees along the Mississippi River. The last round of Phase I inspections ended late last month.
This week the Corps began patrolling the levees along the east bank of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Bohemia and on the west bank of the river from Donaldsonville to Venice. Inspections will continue twice weekly until the water level drops below 11 feet at the Carrollton gauge.
Phase I is a proactive measure that is triggered when the Mississippi River reaches 11 feet and is forecast to continue to rise. The increased patrols help to ensure that the Corps can respond quickly to any problem areas that develop along the levee system because of the elevated water levels.
The current water level at the Carrollton gauge is 11.7 feet. The National Weather Service’s latest forecast shows a crest of 12.0 feet at the Carrollton gauge on April 5.
Levee restrictions during high water
The 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 reaches 11 feet and rising at the Carrollton gauge in New Orleans. Waivers are considered on a case-by-case basis and are dependent on many factors, including surrounding subsurface ground conditions.
Release no. 12-072